We Don’t Need Social Media

The push to regulate or break up Facebook ignores the fact that its services do more harm than good

Colin Horgan
Published in
5 min readMay 13, 2019


Credit: Amy Osborne/Getty Images

InIn an op-ed in the New York Times last week, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes laid out an argument for dismantling the social media behemoth, splitting it up via antitrust legislation, and (he hopes) paving the way for what he describes as a new age of innovation and competition.

Hughes joins a growing chorus of former Silicon Valley unicorn riders who’ve recently had second thoughts about the utility or benefit of the surveillance-attention economy their products and platforms have helped create. He is also not the first to suggest that government might need to step in to clean up the mess they made — to enact laws that curb the powers of the tech monopolies that facilitate our day-to-day lives, extracting and exploiting our personal data and behaviors as they go. Nor is Hughes the first to suggest that once that happens, some newer, better versions of what we have now might then be created and have the chance to proliferate.

“The vibrant marketplace that once drove Facebook and other social media companies to compete to come up with better products has virtually disappeared,” Hughes wrote last week. “This means there’s less chance of start-ups developing healthier, less…