Top executive: 'Chopping' Facebook 'into bits' won't solve problems

Top executive: 'Chopping' Facebook 'into bits' won't solve problems
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A top Facebook executive said Sunday that breaking up the social media giant isn't going to "suddenly" fix problems highlighted by the company's co-founder.

"I don't think dismantling companies is the way to deal with some of the complex issues which he quite rightly highlighted, data use, privacy, the attempt by folk from elsewhere to try and interfere in our elections," vice president for global affairs and communications Nick Clegg said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"I don't in any way want to diminish the importance of those and heavy responsibility that Facebook bares to play a prominent role in solving those problems. But chopping a great American success story into bits is not something that’s going to make those problems go away. They won't suddenly evaporate."

Clegg's remarks came in response to a scathing op-ed from Chris Hughes, a former Harvard student who co-founded Facebook with CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump, telecom executives talk coronavirus response | Pelosi pushes funding for mail-in voting | New York AG wants probe into firing of Amazon worker | Marriott hit by another massive breach As misinformation surges, coronavirus poses AI challenge Zuckerberg, Gates team up to contribute M for research into coronavirus treatments MORE in 2004.


Hughes wrote that Facebook was not being held accountable for privacy concerns and election interference on its platform.

He also called Zuckerberg’s influence "unprecedented and un-American" and called on lawmakers to protect citizens from monopolies.

“We are confident that we're going to be considerably better prepared for instance for the 2020 U.S. elections than we were for 2016," Clegg said Sunday, echoing arguments he made in an op-ed in The New York Times Sunday.

"Facebook shouldn’t be broken up — but it does need to be held to account. Anyone worried about the challenges we face in an online world should look at getting the rules of the internet right, not dismantling successful American companies," Clegg wrote Saturday.

"The challenges he [Hughes] alludes to, including election interference and privacy safeguards, won’t evaporate by breaking up Facebook or any other big tech company," Clegg continued. "Fixing these problems requires significant resources — and strong new rules."