Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly 'nervous' about an Elizabeth Warren presidency

The new trust busting battles begin.

  • Leaked audio from internal Facebook meeting ostensibly showcases Zuckerberg's candid thoughts on Elizabeth Warren.
  • Zuckerberg tells his staff that they're ready to "go to the mat and and you fight."
  • Warren has not backed down on her calls for busting up the big tech companies.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, now one of the leading Democratic presidential nominee frontrunners, is doubling down on her promise to break up the tech giants: Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

In a Medium post published earlier this year, she stated, "Today's big tech companies have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy. They've bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation."

Warren added, "And I want to make sure that the next generation of great American tech companies can flourish. To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor."

Warren joins a growing chorus of politicians criticizing big-tech companies. They're alarmed by what they consider to be monopolistic traits and want to bust them down to size. Because of their size and power, these global corporations are able to dominate their markets by either acquiring competitors or copying their features.

There are valid concerns within the field by people who actually understand the technological ecosystem. Things need to be done in order to change the tech landscape and help foster competition and growth in the most dynamic marketplace of the 21st century.

But the idea to regulate these companies by breaking them up doesn't seem to be one of them.

It comes as no surprise, then, to hear that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly sounds "nervous" about an Elizabeth Warren presidency. It is also no surprise that he intends to fight back against any modern trust-busting zealots.

Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Elizabeth Warren

After another attack by Warren, Zuckerberg held an all hands meeting rallying the team to fight back against her proposed plans. There was leaked audio from the internal company meeting, where Zuckerberg candidly addressed the threat of a government breakup of big tech companies:

"You have someone like Elizabeth Warren who thinks that the right answer is to break up the companies. . . if she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge. And does that still suck for us?

Yeah. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. . . But look, at the end of the day, if someone's going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight."

Zuckerberg added that, "It's just that breaking up these companies, whether it's Facebook or Google or Amazon, is not actually going to solve the issues. And, you know, it doesn't make election interference less likely. It makes it more likely because now the companies can't coordinate and work together."

After hearing the leaked audio, Warren responded to Zuckerberg's comments, tweeting, "What would really 'suck' is if we don't fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy."

Facebook’s plans for the future

Facebook has been contending with regulators worldwide, while still maintaining a steadily growing company.

Many great companies have had to contend with trust busters. Most recently and notably was when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust case against Microsoft back in the '90s. The government alleged that the company used its dominance of the hardware PC market to force out competing operating systems. Microsoft was never broken up.

AT&T, IBM, and Standard Oil were all corporations broken up during the early to mid 20th century. One way or another, it looks like our behemoth corporations will have to face up to the mounting pressure.

Three days after the leaked audio of the meetings inside Facebook, Zuckerberg decided to live-stream their next all-hands meeting for the world to see.

When asked about Senator Elizabeth Warren and how he'd remain impartial to the ongoing feud, Zuckerberg laughed and said he'd "Try not to antagonize her further."

Higher ed isn’t immune to COVID-19, but the crisis will make it stronger

The pandemic reminds us that our higher education system, with all its flaws, remains a key part of our strategic reserve.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • America's higher education system is under great scrutiny as it adapts to a remote-learning world. These criticisms will only make higher ed more innovative.
  • While there are flaws in the system and great challenges ahead, higher education has adapted quickly to allow students to continue learning. John Katzman, CEO of online learning organization Noodle Partners, believes this is cause for optimism not negativity.
  • Universities are pillars of scientific research on the COVID-19 frontlines, they bring facts in times of uncertainty and fake news, and, in a bad economy, education is a personal floatation device.
Keep reading Show less

An ancient device too advanced to be real gives up its secrets at last

Researchers present what they’ve learned now that they can read the tiny text inside the Antikythera mechanism.

Exploded view of Antikythera mechanism (Peulle/Wikimedia)
Surprising Science

Though it it seemed to be just a corroded lump of some sort when it was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Greece near Antikythera in 1900, in 1902 archaeologist Valerios Stais, looking at the gear embedded in it, guessed that what we now call the “Antikythera mechanism" was some kind of astronomy-based clock. He was in the minority—most agreed that something so sophisticated must have entered the wreck long after its other 2,000-year-old artifacts. Nothing like it was believed to have existed until 1,500 years later.

Keep reading Show less

Hyper-innovation: COVID-19 will forever change the way we teach kids

The institutional barriers that have often held creative teaching back are being knocked down by the coronavirus era.

Future of Learning
  • Long-held structures in the education system, like classroom confines and schedules, have held back innovation for a long time, says education leader Richard Culatta.
  • In the coronavirus era, we have been able to shake some of those rigid structures loose, making way for creativity and, ultimately, a more open mindset.
  • When creativity and technology combine, learning can become so much more than delivering content to a student. Culatta gives two stunning examples: one of a biotech class, and another involving a student discovering a star.
Keep reading Show less

Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past

We'd like to think that judging people's worth based on the shape of their head is a practice that's behind us.

Culture & Religion

'Phrenology' has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes.

Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…