Facebook Responds to Co-Founder Chris Hughes: Size Doesn't Matter

Facebook has responded to a New York Times op-ed by co-founder Chris Hughes which argued that the tech giant needs to be broken up. Nick Clegg, Facebook's Vice President for Global Affairs and Communication, argued in his own op-ed published Saturday that breaking up the company is not the answer. “What matters is not size but rather the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications,” Clegg wrote. Hughes, who has not been with the company in over a decade, said he feels “a sense of anger and responsibility” over the missteps Facebook has made since his departure, including huge data breaches and servicing the spread of fake news.

Hughes argued that Mark Zuckerberg, once his college roommate, has lost sight of Facebook's power and does not have a sufficient check on his authority—neither within the company, nor through government oversight. “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American. It is time to break up Facebook,” Hughes wrote. But Clegg argued that Facebook is pushing for more government oversight. “We are in the unusual position of asking for more regulation, not less,” he wrote. Clegg also said that Facebook's size is not what allowed privacy breaches—but is what enables the company to stop them. “Our size... has also allowed us to make a huge investment in protecting the safety and security of our services,” Hughes wrote. “Big in itself isn’t bad. Success should not be penalized.”