Today, Facebook announced its latest venture: cryptocurrency. “Project Libra” is a further expansion of Facebook’s unaccountable monopoly power and a new risk for users and democratic societies. Details of the plan remain vague, but the ongoing abuse of Facebook’s monopoly power remains front and centre.
According to Sarah Miller, Co-Chair of Freedom From Facebook, “Facebook is one of the world’s most dangerous and irresponsible monopolies. Trusting Facebook to launch and manage a global cryptocurrency is sheer insanity. The FTC needs to stop dragging their feet and break up Facebook before this black hole of a corporation sucks in our financial information and currency systems, too.”
In a similar vein, Chris Hughes, who is a co-founder of Facebook and recently called for the FTC to restructure the company in a blockbuster New York Times essay, reiterated his point about Facebook having too much power on CNBC:
“The time for oversight has arrived…The root cause is the fact that Facebook is unaccountable — there is no real competition in social networking, so when users are outraged about election scandals or privacy scandals, they have nowhere else to go.”
“The laws on the books make it very clear that it’s illegal to have monopoly power and abuse monopoly power that Facebook has today. The FTC was mistaken when it approved the WhatsApp and Instagram mergers in 2012 and 2014, so we unwind those…with a freeze on future acquisitions.”
Freedom From Facebook, a diverse group of organizations sharing deep concerns about Facebook’s extraordinary power over our lives and democracy, is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to use its broad authority to break up Facebook’s monopoly and re-establish competition in the social networking space by spinning off WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger into independent businesses. Freedom From Facebook also calls on the FTC to develop interoperability standards, so users will have the freedom to communicate between competing social networks, as well as implement strong privacy rules to give users more control over the collection and utilization of personal information. Learn more at freedomfromFB.com