DailyPost 971


”Zuckerberg controls 60 percent of the company’s voting shares and has ultimate oversight over Facebook’s algorithms, its privacy settings and community guidelines,” is a fact being quoted by the international media over and over again. This is in the context of the co-founder Chris Hughes in New York TImes Op-ed has made a clarion call for the breaking up the social media juggernaut citing unchecked power of the Facebook group and that of the Chief Executive. This unchecked power with lack for regulatory controls has led to situations like Brexit, US Presidential polls 2016, Cambridge Analytica and the live video streaming of the Christchurch mass terrorist killings.

With Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook and Zuckerberg controls 80% of the social media and through wide and varied data sharing arrangements, purely for money, exerts much greater influence on the life of mankind. He rules the algorithms of the human existence. Being in the geeky nerdy mode, does he understand the niceties of human existence even after facts and incidents are thrown right at this face is unknown. His knee jerk responses are lip service behind his eager face is cool mercenary business.

Why regulation has not happened is unimaginable inspite of Russia story hitting right at the root of American democratic existence remains unknown. The anti-trust laws seem to have gained the trust of humungous monopolies. Starting from the Microsoft case to the FBI Vs Apple case, American state has dealt with big corporations with kid gloves. The break up theory does not address to any of the ills which is so well known to the world. How does it solve what Mark says the focus on growth leading to sacrificing security and civility for clicks?

What is euphemistically called break up seems to be hinting only at the independent existence of Instagram and What’s App, bringing down the aggregated power of data and mercenary monetization of it. Absence of will and regulation cannot be compensated by break up. The capability of the govt seems to have been neutralised. Zuckerberg’s defence that huge resources of Facebook can be used to set right the ills also does not hold ground.


Sanjay Sahay

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