“The question that I think we have to grapple with is that breaking up these companies wouldn’t make any of those problems better,” Zuckerberg said in a conversation with Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein. “The amount that we’re investing in safety and security is greater than the whole revenue of our company was earlier this decade when we went public, so it just would not have been possible to do the things we’re doing at a smaller scale.”
Not everyone sees it that way.
On Wednesday, Zuckerberg argued that when you look at smaller social media companies such as Twitter and Reddit, they still have to deal with misinformation questions and election interference.
He said Facebook, which has 2.38 billion monthly active users around the world, is much bigger, and better positioned to respond. He said Facebook is able to build a defensive system once and then apply it across its other properties — Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
“It’s not the case that if you broke up Facebook into a bunch of pieces, you suddenly wouldn’t have those issues,” Zuckerberg said. “You would have those issues, you would just be much less equipped to deal with them.”
On Monday, Nick Clegg, the company’s head of global policy and communications, pushed back against the calls for a break up of the company, urging that policymakers instead develop new regulations to prevent countries such as China and Russia from “writing the new rules of the Internet.”
Zuckerberg also made the case Wednesday that its highest profile acquisitions — Instagram and WhatsApp — became more innovative as a result of being part of Facebook.