The time to break up Facebook
The Freedom from Facebook campaign is pressuring the US Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook. A number of progressive groups – among them Open Markets Institute, Demand Progress and the Content Creators Coalition – have banded together to lobby the agency to force Facebook to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks.
The Freedom from Facebook initiative reckons Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg now have a scary amount of power.
“Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day,” it says. “It buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly, killing innovation and choice. It tracks us almost everywhere we go on the web and, through our smartphones, even where we go in the real world. It uses this intimate data hoard to figure out how to addict us and our children to its services.”
The campaign has produced a how-to guide to reduce corporate and political surveillance on Facebook which it says enables consumers to take steps to make Facebook safer as well as “send a message that we will not be manipulated”.
Earlier this year, Open Markets called on the FTC to reverse Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, impose strict privacy rules similar to Europe’s GDPR, plus spin off Facebook’s ad network to eliminate the incentive to amass data and to discriminate in the provision of news and information to Americans.”
Image: Freedom from Facebook