Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Democrats, aim to rein in Facebook

May 12, 2019

2020 candidates are eyeing regulation of Facebook, as calls to break up the tech giant gain momentum.

Sen. Kamala Harris told CNN’s Jake Tapper that lawmakers should “need to serious take a look” at breaking up Facebook, and slammed the social media icon for prioritizing its own growth over the privacy and security of its users.

“There are very few people that can get by and be involved their community, society, in their profession without somehow, somewhere using Facebook,” she said. “It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I’m concerned that’s got to stop.”

Her comments came just a few days after Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, said the company had a dangerous monopoly in global communications.

“We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” Mr. Hughes wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has made breaking up tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google part of her platform, celebrated Mr. Hughes’ op-ed.

“Chris Hughes is right. Today’s big tech companies have too much power over our economy, our society, our democracy. They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private info for profit, hurt small businesses stifled innovation,” she tweeted.

Sen. Cory Booker, however, took a more cautious approach.

He argued there needs to be more done to reign in the power of corporate consolidation in several fields, including technology, but a president should follow a process.

“I don’t care if it’s Facebook, the Pharma industry, even the agricultural industry. We’re had a problem in America with corporate consolidation that is having really ill effects,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “In the realm of technology, we’re seeing a small one or two companies controlling a significant amount of the online advertising.”

But he stayed far away from advocating for breaking up the tech giant saying, as president, he’d start with an investigation.

“I don’t think that a president should be running around pointing at companies and saying breaking them up without any kind of process here,” he said. “We do not need a president that is going to use their own personal beliefs and tell you which companies we should break up.”