It seems that neither side of the political spectrum is a big fan of Facebook. While those with conservative views have long accused it of bias, there are now some on the left who want to break up the social network’s “monopoly.”
According to Axios, a team of progressive advocacy groups is set to launch a six-figure ad campaign today that will run on a number of platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook itself. The groups, which include Demand Progress, MoveOn, Citizens Against Monopoly, Open Markets Institute, and SumOfUs want the FTC to spin off Facebook-owned Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger into competing networks.
The ads will feature messages such as, “Facebook keeps violating your privacy. Break it up,” and “Mark Zuckerberg has a scary amount of power. We need to take it back.”
Additionally, the groups are asking the FTC for interoperability that allows all users to communicate across competing social networks. They’re also requesting the implementation of strong privacy rules.
The move comes just as the FTC gains a new chairman in Joseph Simons, who, along with four new commissioners, were all picked by President Trump. Simmons, an antitrust lawyer that has represented large tech companies like Microsoft, has indicated that tech firms could find themselves under the microscope for antitrust violations now he is chairman. The FTC is still investigating whether Facebook broke legal agreements as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
“Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have amassed a scary amount of power,” reads the Freedom From Facebook coalition’s website. “Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day. 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.”
“The five members of the Federal Trade Commission, which is the part of our government tasked with overseeing Facebook, can make Facebook safe for our democracy by breaking it up, giving us the freedom to communicate across networks, and protecting our privacy. Together, we will make sure that they do.”