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The Current: Facebook has become one of world’s ‘most dangerous monopolies,’ says expert

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Some are calling for Facebook’s breakup, while company wants internet regulation.

Facebook has become “one of the world’s most dangerous monopolies” and needs to be dismantled, claims an expert from a U.S.-based anti-monopoly group.

“They operate on a business model that’s based on deep surveillance of its users and then taking that personal information and allowing actors to target private advertising towards them,” said Sarah Miller, deputy director of Open Markets Institute in Washington, which is committed to protecting democracy from corporations.

“We really need to separate out Facebook from Instagram, WhatsApp [companies Facebook owns], and ensure that there is market-based accountability, so that users have real choice and don’t have to use a social media system that relies on manipulation and exploitation of deeply private information to connect with others online,” she told The Current’s guest host Gillian Findlay.

In an opinion piece published Thursday in the New York Times, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote that he wants to see the social network break up.

In a country with “a tradition of reining in monopolies,” the power of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is “un-American,” Hughes said.

He co-founded Facebook in 2004 at Harvard University with Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. Hughes quit Facebook in 2007 and later said in a LinkedIn post that he made $500 million for his three years of work.

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In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history.

The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, was founded to protect liberty and democracy from these extreme -- and growing -- concentrations of private power.

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