How would the government break up facebook?

Oracle OlJs40
Oct 3 15 Comments

Elizabeth Warren is talking about breaking up facebook. Which components would be spun off? Its one big website. When ATT broke up, they broke it up into regional 'bell' companies. ATT had a near 100% monopoly on phones in the US before this.

I'm not sure how you break up facebook. I think the better option is an EU style data bill of rights so they can't exploit our data.

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Barclays PLC kuberoot
    By breaking up the friends list and limiting maximum likes and shares to 300. Some people would be unhappy but it's a great service to humanity.
    Oct 3 0
  • New
    qlXE01

    New

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    Oscar
    BIO
    Designer at startups considering the jump to FANG
    qlXE01more
    I mean they could also roll back acquisitions, right? Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, etc all become individual companies again. That’s a start.
    Oct 3 4
    • Google lumpi
      How would ownership work? The shareholders of fb will get corresponding shares in the broken up companies?
      Oct 3
    • Amazon AIV
      Likely. This is how it worked for Ma Bell and Standard Oil.
      Oct 3
    • Amazon brwl34
      Warren doesn’t care about shareholders. She just wants to watch the economy burn.
      Oct 3
    • Amazon Djfif47
      ^ actually breaking up companies means there’s more competition and more demand for talent so it might works out better for employees
      Oct 10
  • Uber sarcool
    The govt will choose friends for you and distribute those equally. Why should some people have thousands and others none.
    Oct 3 0
  • Seal the Seasons Nobdii
    There are a variety of ways you could break up Facebook. But the question is, can it be done with Facebook still being Facebook?

    A solution would be to separate the company from products that aren't already internalized. So yeah, break off WhatsApp, Instagram and other outside products.

    I think my problem with Warren, however, is that her beef with Facebook is that they "have too much power" instead of what competitors they own. Monopolies, most crucially, are anti-competitive in their business practices beyond merely being ubiquitous. Amazon cutting out their highest selling members by direct-selling the highest selling products of Amazon sellers is anti-competitive. It's anti competitive because sellers don't have access to the same data sets as Amazon, so they have little control over their own destiny. Facebook is ubiquitous, but I wouldn't say it is inherently anti-competitive. Sure, it owns Instagram and WhatsApp, but I don't see headlines about Facebook buying, say, Twitter or SnapChat for instance. Neither are they thinking about buying Indeed, venmo, or coinbase. Nor do I see Facebook engaging in a clear cut strategy for effectively snuffing out TikTok head on. Facebook's competitors are other corporations of comparable scale that provide a diverse array of services to a large userbase. Additionally, it is the affiliated products of corporations of scale that do not necessarily occupy the same space. While some people say that Facebook's diversity of services threatens businesses in other industries, this is a load of horse shit. Capitalism has most crucially rewarded specialisation. While they offer a wide diversity of services, making Facebook is convenient, it is also a jack of all trades and a master of none. We could say facebook payments is a competitor to venmo, but it barely registers on the radar compared to other services, like square cash. Same thing with jobs. Sure, it's convenient, but people still prefer the separation provided by working with an outside marketplace like Indeed, or they prefer integration with a platform that already has a professional posture, like LinkedIn. Finally, even though facebook owns Instagram, Instagram stories is still leagues behind the offerings of SnapChat.

    Here's the thing: just because an industry is has a high barrier of entry, or services a lot of people, doesn't mean it's anti-competitive. My problem with Warren is that I feel like her vision of tech corporations shows a lack of understanding of not only the services that these companies render, but also how they compete, and how difficult they are to get off of the ground to begin with. For me, it feels almost as if she thinks that starting a social media network with 2 billion users is something that anybody should be able to do, the way anybody should be able to own a restaurant, and shows a complete contempt for the fact that much of the success of Facebook comes from hard work, dedication and long hours. Moreover, this success is an extension of American soft power, the way that Google's success is an extension of American soft power.

    If warren thinks that Facebook is too powerful, I am willing to guarantee that it is not because of the companies it owns, but rather, the fact that it services almost 1/4 of the worlds population: not through the enactment of draconian corporate acquisitions or piss-poor ethical policies, but through popularity, convenience and innovation. If there is a complaint worth having, it's simply with how it handles the data of these people.

    So this is the real question: if Warren were to break up Facebook, would Instagram and WhatsApp be enough? Arguably no. If this is the case, then would the solution be to break up the facebook product? If so, then is this solution even tenable if we are trying to keep facebook what it is? The answer is no.

    If Elizabeth Warren was truly concerned about American monopolies, she would have the lions share of her attention levelled at AT&T, Comcast, and Sprint. Not saying I like Trump, but I don't want this as the alternative. I just wonder if there was no talk about Russians exploiting facebook ads to promote paid propaganda, would we even be having this conversation about Facebook? Probably not. People would still be sharing shitty memes, cat photos, and Mark Zuckerberg would still be the golden child.
    Oct 3 4
    • Facebook cochococho
      Damn. You gave this some thought huh
      Oct 3
    • Groupon / Eng sleepy
      Russian propaganda was less than 0.001% of Facebook traffic.
      Oct 3
    • Thanks, Nobdii
      Oct 3
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

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      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      Didn’t Facebook try to buy Snap?
      Oct 3
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1

    Microsoft

    BIO
    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    Regional Facebook companies that each host an independent version of Facebook hosted in a single local data center.
    Oct 3 1
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

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      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      🤣
      Oct 3
  • Microsoft / HR stormyD
    Lock it up
    Oct 3 0

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