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  • A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 May 2019

"We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well-intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American," Hughes wrote.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has called for the break-up of the social network, making an argument against the unchecked power Mark Zuckerberg has with the company, in an opinion piece published Thursday by the New York Times.

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"We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well-intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American," Hughes wrote.

Hughes was Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard and co-founded Facebook in 2004 with Dustin Moskovitz. He quit the company in 2007 to work as an online strategist for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign.

"It's been 15 years since I co-founded Facebook at Harvard, and I haven't worked at the company in a decade. But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility," added Hughes. 

This op-ed comes as Facebook is facing many security and privacy scandals, which worry many as the tech-company owns the biggest social network, with more than two billion users across the world. It also owns the private messaging platforms WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, each used by more than one billion people.

Facebook is accused of inappropriately sharing around 87 million users' information with the U.K. political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. On April 9, two U.S. senators introduced a bill to ban online social media companies, like Facebook and Twitter, from tricking consumers into unknowingly giving up their personal data.

U.S. legislators have called for federal privacy regulation and anti-trust action to break up big tech companies. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has vowed promote competition in the technology sector by disbanding Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet Inc's Google if elected U.S. president. 

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