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No Benefit in Breaking up Facebook, Says COO Sandberg

Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes said the government must hold Mark (Zuckerberg) accountable

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

As the chorus grows to break up Facebook, the social networking platform’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has said that it won’t serve any purpose.

“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” she told CNBC in an interview on Friday.

“People are concerned about election security, content, privacy and data portability,” Sandberg added.

Several US Senators have called for breaking up the social network amid repeated data breaches and privacy violations on the platform.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris has stressed that authorities should take a serious look at breaking up Facebook as the social network platform is a “utility that has gone unregulated.

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FILE – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

Another Democratic 2020 candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has also stressed upon the possibility of breaking up Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, rejected these calls, saying the size of the social media giant was actually a benefit to its users and the security of the democratic process.

Facebook has kept aside $3 billion, anticipating a record fine coming from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved 87 million users.

Also Read- Microsoft to Train 15,000 People on Artificial Intelligence by 2022

In an opinion piece in The New York Times last week, Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes said the government must hold Mark (Zuckerberg) accountable.

“Mark’s personal reputation and the reputation of Facebook have taken a nose-dive,” wrote Hughes, adding that it was time to break up the company. (IANS)

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TikTok ‘Poaching’ Facebook Employees Right in its Backyard

According to the Facebook CEO, TikTok is almost like Instagram's Explore Tab

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

Chinese short-video making platform TikTok is reportedly poaching Facebook employees and has moved into an office space in Mountain View, California that used to be frequented by WhatsApp workers before it was acquired by the social networking giant in 2014.

According to a CNBC report, TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have also posted several job postings in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to LinkedIn.

“Since 2018, the company has hired more than two dozen employees from Facebook,” the report said.

The new location gives TikTok a strategic presence as it is just a few blocks away from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters and employees can just walk-in for jobs.

Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that TikTok is doing well in the US and growing quickly in India, unveiling his own plans to counter the rising clout of the Chinese short video-sharing platform in meetings with employees.

Saying that Facebook has a “number of approaches” to compete with TikTok, Zuckerberg said the company would first test the efficacy of its strategies in markets where TikTok is not already big, according to the details of the meeting published by The Verge.

With over 200 million users in India, TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is fast closing the gap with Facebook in the country.

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The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“We have a number of approaches that we’re going to take towards this, and we have a product called Lasso that’s a standalone app that we’re working on, trying to get product-market fit in countries like Mexico, is I think one of the first initial ones,” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying.

In November last year, Facebook quietly released a stand-alone app called “Lasso” to compete with TikTok.

ByteDance claims it has over 700 million daily active users globally. Facebook has more than 2.1 billion people that use one of its apps daily, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

According to the Facebook CEO, TikTok is almost like Instagram’s Explore Tab.

Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Publishes ads Containing Lies

“I kind of think about TikTok as if it were Explore for stories, and that were the whole app,” Zuckerberg said.

“We’re taking a number of approaches with Instagram, including making it so that Explore is more focused on stories, which is increasingly becoming the primary way that people consume content on Instagram, as well as a couple of other things there,” he said. (IANS)