Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Won't Sell Instagram Or WhatsApp

Dhir Acharya - Sep 21, 2019


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Won't Sell Instagram Or WhatsApp

Facebook has been called repeatedly by several parties, including one co-founder, to split WhatsApp and Instagram off from the social giant.

Facebook has been called repeatedly by several parties, including one co-founder, to split WhatsApp and Instagram off from the social giant. However, this seems unlikely to happen.

On Thursday, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted that he met with Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. Unsurprisingly, the Facebook CEO declined.

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Mark Zuckerberg met with senators

Hawley is among the toughest critics for Facebook, along with several lawmakers from US’ both parties that have been rubbing shoulders with the tech mogul this week.

This is the first time Zuckerberg has visited Washington DC since last April when he had a testimony before lawmakers about the Cambridge Analytics scandal. The data breach, caused by a UK political consultancy, collected data on 87 million Facebook users without consent. Hawley, in June, introduced a bill which force tech firms like Facebook to be liable for political bias.

The social giant has repeatedly said that it has no plans to split WhatsApp and Instagram from the company. It has argued that this move won’t change the problem with privacy mishaps as well as other woes. Mark Zuckerberg, instead, has called for more regulation on the internet around data portability, privacy, election integrity, and harmful content. Additionally, it is working to find a way to merge Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger so that users can send messages cross-platform.

Facebook didn't comment immediately on the meeting between Hawley and Zuckerberg.

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He said he won't sell Instagram or WhatsApp

The social giant asked Virginia Democrat Sen Mark Warner to help organize a dinner on Wednesday night, where the CEO met with senators.

"The participants had a discussion touching on multiple issues, including the role and responsibility of social media platforms in protecting our democracy, and what steps Congress should take to defend our elections, protect consumer data and encourage competition in the social media space," said Warner's spokeswoman Rachel Cohen.

Also, Warner said that Zuckerberg received several questions about its plans to launch Libra. "He heard the concerns, but I still don't have 100 percent clarity on whether they feel like they can launch short of US regulatory approval," said Warner.

In their conversation, Facebook CEO and lawmakers talked about a number of topics, which include accusations that it suppresses conservative speech, the company denied this repeatedly. Hawley's tweet said that the CEO admitted there was bias around a fact-checking dispute between the company and videos posted by Live Action.

Zuckerberg was also said to have met with Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and talked with him about "bias against conservatives on Facebook's platform, government regulation of digital platforms, antitrust enforcement, Section 230 liability, and data-privacy issues."

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