Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has called for regulation of American tech companies but argues against breaking up her company – suggesting it would weaken US tech companies against competitions from China’s mega corporations.
Responding to calls for the break up of Facebook, the social networking platform’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg sat down with CNBC to discuss the company’s arguments against the call for Instagram and WhatsApp to be separated from Facebook. Sandberg said that breaking up her company should not be the issue that people should be worry about. The calls for break up were made even by by a Facebook founder.
According to Sandberg, breaking Facebook, and other tech companies for that matter, will not solve the underlying issues that people are concerned about. These issues are about election security, content, privacy and data portability.
In addition, Sandberg admits that in the US, while there has been a growing concern about size and power of tech companies, people are also concerned with the size and power of Chinese companies that won’t be broken up.
“You could break us up, you could break other tech companies up, but you actually don’t address the underlying issues people are concerned about,” Sandberg said. Adding: “While people are concerned with the size and power of tech companies, there’s also a concern in the United States with the size and power of Chinese companies, and the realization that those companies are not going to be broken up.”
On the issue of safety and security, Sandberg told CNBC that Facebook has been doing its share to address these concerns. The social networking site’s product and engineering teams have functions to address the issues. She also said that Facebook know that it has to work hard to earn back people’s trust to do better as a social networking platform and eventually do improve its ad targeting system.
“We know at Facebook we have a real possibility to do better and earn back people’s trust,” Sandberg said.
The COO also said that Facebook’s strategy now different from its strategy during the company’s earlier days. According to Sandberg, Facebook now believes that doing the right thing for the people is the only way that the company can protect its long-term business.
In fact, Facebook has been making a big investment to establish rules and standards not just for Facebook but for the whole social networking industry.
Sandberg admits that Facebook should work harder in safeguarding people’s privacy and security and that the company is less concerned now on growth. The bottom line for Facebook, according to Sandberg, is getting it right to protect the people – suggesting that is the only way Facebook is going to continue running its business and protect the company’s investment.