Liberal Critics Of Facebook Want Spinoff Of Company's Units

Echoing more conservative critics of Facebook, a coalition of left-leaning organizations are lobbying the government to break up the tech titan.

Rallying under the name “Freedom From Facebook,” the alliance’s founding members include The Open Markets Institute, Demand Progress, Citizens Against Monopoly, SumOfUs, Content Creators Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, MPower Change, and MoveOn Civic Action.

Specifically, the coalition is now calling on the Federal Trade Commission to force Facebook to spinoff its various units, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.

Freedom From Facebook also wants the FTC to develop interoperability standards, which it believes will give consumers more freedom to communicate between competing social networks, as well as implement strong privacy rules to give users more control over the collection and use of their personal information.

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In its current form, “Facebook threatens our democracy by choking off independent journalism, by manipulating how people talk to one another, and by broadcasting dangerous propaganda,” stated Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute. 

To get its messaging to the public, the coalition is planning an aggressive ad campaign, which casts Facebook and its cofounder Mark Zuckerberg in a menacing light.

Along with unflattering photos of Zuckerberg, the copy of one ad reads: “Facebook keeps violating your privacy. Break it up.”  

Along with the digital ad campaign, the launch of Freedom From Facebook includes a petition push to the FTC and a new Web site to serve as a resource for interested individuals.

As of Monday afternoon, Facebook had yet to respond to the coalition’s accusations and efforts.

The company has long been a lightning rod for criticism of all sorts, but it reached a fever pitch in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica controversy.

Freedom From Facebook’s more liberal constituency is notable because Facebook has faced so much criticism from conservative groups.  For example, when Zuckerberg appeared before lawmakers in April, some GOP members accused& nbsp ;Facebook of censorship conservative-leaning posts.

Facebook has been taking greater measures to be more transparent about data collection, while trying to curb spreaders of misinformation and other bad actors.

Just last week, the company enlisted the help of the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensic Research Lab to help curtail election meddling around the world.

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