UNITED STATES Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris. (Internet image.)
WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said yesterday that United States officials should consider breaking up Facebook Inc, the world’s largest social media company, saying it is a utility that has gone unregulated.
Harris, a US senator and one of more than 20 Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential election, said Facebook has prioritised growth over consumers’ interests, especially on privacy.
“I think we have to seriously take a look at that [breaking up Facebook], yes,” Harris said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. She said very few people can get by in their communities, business or commerce without somehow using Facebook. “So we have to recognise it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated.”
Facebook has been under scrutiny from regulators around the world over data sharing practices as well as hate speech and misinformation on its networks.
Some other US lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, have pushed for action to break up big tech companies as well as federal privacy regulation.
Facebook, which has more than two billion users on its social network, rejected Harris’ call. Spokesman Nick Clegg said Facebook accepted that with success comes accountability, “but you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company.” (Reuters)