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Coalition to breakup Facebook gains momentum

Bloomberg: “The top U.S. communications union is joining a coalition calling for the Federal Trade Commission to break up Facebook Inc., as the social media company faces growing government scrutiny and public pressure. “We should all be deeply concerned by Facebook’s power over our lives and democracy,” said Brian Thorn, a researcher for the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America, the newest member of the Freedom From Facebook coalition. For the FTC not to end Facebook’s monopoly and impose stronger rules on privacy “would be unfair to the American people, our privacy, and our democracy,” Thorn said in an email. Facebook disclosed July 2 that it’s cooperating with probes by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on how political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained personal information from as many as 87 million of the site’s users without their consent. The FTC, the Department of Justice and some state regulators were already probing the matter, which prompted Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress in April. Facebook also faces calls for regulation from many lawmakers and the public over the privacy issue, Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 presidential election and the spread of false information on the platform. Facebook declined to comment on the union’s move. The CWA doesn’t represent Facebook employees, but it does represent more than 100,000 workers at AT&T Inc., which has clashed with Facebook on public policy before. And although Facebook’s workers don’t belong to unions, the contracted shuttle drivers and cafeteria workers are unionized…”

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