Stories

Kamala Harris: "We need to seriously take a look" at breaking up Facebook

2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris told CNN's Jake Tapper that "we need to seriously take a look" at breaking up Facebook, which she claimed is "essentially a utility that has gone unregulated."

"I think Facebook has experienced massive growth and has prioritized its growth over the best interest of its consumers, especially on the issue of privacy. There's no question in my mind that there needs to be serious regulation and that has not been happening. ... When you look at the issue, they're essentially a utility. There are very few people that can get by and be involved in their communities or society or in whatever their profession without somehow, somewhere using Facebook. It's very difficult for people to be engaged in any level of commerce without it. We have to recognize it for what it is. It is essentially a utility that has gone unregulated. And as far as I'm concerned, that's got to stop."

The big picture: Harris was responding to New York Times op-ed by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who said that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "human. But it’s his very humanity that makes his unchecked power so problematic." Harris, who as California's senator represents the 5th largest economy in the world, also told Tapper that she would not have voted for NAFTA.

  • Harris' view on Facebook is slightly softer than that of fellow 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren, who has already outlined her specific plan to break up Big Tech platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon if elected.

Go deeper: How the past is shaping Big Tech's future