Facebook’s co-founder is making a terrible argument about online speech

This morning, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes made a landmark call to break up Facebook in The New York Times. Hughes — who left the company in 2007 — argues that Facebook has fostered its users’ bad impulses, prevented other companies from competing, and gained “unilateral control over speech” worldwide. The piece is a blunt condemnation of Facebook’s market power and frightening grip on modern society, and it’s a compelling one.

But on one topic, his proposed solution is sketchy, confusing, and even potentially counterproductive to his goal of reducing Facebook’s power. It’s also frustratingly common.

Hughes is primarily calling on the US regulators to split up Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Toward the end of the piece, though,…

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