During a Q&A session with employees this summer, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would sue the US Government if Elizabeth Warren is elected president:
“You have someone like Elizabeth Warren [who] thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies…I mean, if she gets elected president then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” said Zuckerberg.
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“I don’t want to have a major lawsuit against our own government,” continued Zuckerberg. “But look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and fight.”
Elizabeth Warren unveiled her plans to break up Big Tech in March, arguing that big companies like Apple and Facebook are “throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”
What Warren doesn’t understand is that her plans to disrupt Wall Street and Big Tech will reduce the number of rich people – and she wants to tax rich people to expand welfare programs.
Furthermore, explains Zuckerberg, breaking up Big Tech won’t solve any issues because it will weaken the companies that are big enough to fight for change:
“It doesn’t make election interference less likely. It makes it more likely because now the companies can’t coordinate and work together. It doesn’t make any of the hate speech or issues like that less likely. It makes it more likely because now…all the processes that we’re putting in place and investing in, now we’re more fragmented.”
During the Q&A, Zuckerberg also discussed the rise of Chinese app TikTok and his plans to compete with it – including a standalone app called “Lasso” and changes to Instagram.
“I think we have time to learn and understand and get ahead of the trend,” said Zuckerberg of TikTok. “It is growing, but they’re spending a huge amount of money promoting it. What we’ve found is that their retention is actually not that strong after they stop advertising. So the space is still fairly nascent, and there’s time for us to kind of figure out what we want to do here.”
In the meantime, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is working on a bill that would ban autoplay, limitless scrolling, and other features that make social media addicting. Last month, Hawley asked Zuckerberg to prove his commitment to competition and privacy by selling WhatsApp and Instagram and allowing a third-party audit on censorship. He refused.
Hawley is also working on a bill that would remove certain liability protections from tech companies if they fail to prove they are politically neutral.
Facebook also faces major antitrust investigations by state attorneys general and the FTC.
Author’s Note: Mark Zuckerberg could turn out to be an unwitting GOP ally. He obviously hates Warren, he has the resources to fight her, and he is going to crush TikTok (which we recently learned is a Chinese propaganda tool).