A coalition of privacy and anti-monopoly advocacy groups have launched the “Freedom from Facebook” campaign demanding that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) force the social media giant to break up into four separate companies.
The groups say that Facebook has too much power and are calling in FTC to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks. Activists wants the FTC to establish stronger privacy protections and cross-platform communication.
"Facebook has far too much control over our economy, our information ecosystem, our politics, and even our emotional well-being," said David Segal, Co-founder and Executive Director of Demand Progress, one of the groups involved in the campaign.
"Regulators haven't taken a meaningful stand against them -- and it is about time they do,” Segal added.
The petition come after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologies to Congress saying that the platform tracks people both on the web and in the real world, and shares personal information with advertisers.
“The groups also say Facebook ‘unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day,’ and ‘buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly,’ reads a report in CNET.
According to Axios, the petition will be accompanied by a digital ad campaign that will target Facebook and Instagram users with simple messages like: “Facebook keeps violating your privacy. Break it up” and “Mark Zuckerberg has a scary amount of power. We need to take it back.” The ads will also run on platforms that aren’t run by Mark Zuckerberg, like Twitter.
People have become more aware of the information they share over the network after Facebook got involved in its biggest ever controversy over the Cambridge Analytica scandal for its handling of personal data. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that “mistakes" were made over the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a "breach of trust" had occurred between it and its users, the company has been trying to regain the trust of its users and has updated the data privacy settings to give users more control over their data.
The groups involved in the campaign include Demand Progress, The Open Markets Institute, SumOfUs, Content Creators Coalition, Citizens Against Monopoly, Jewish Voice for Peace, MPower Change, and MoveOn Civic Action.