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Shira Ovide

The Case Against Breaking Up Facebook

Let's settle on what problems we’re trying to address before we decide that a breakup is the only solution.

What are we solving for?

What are we solving for?

Photographer: LUIS ACOSTA/AFP

It’s impossible to root for Facebook Inc. It's like rooting for the New England Patriots. (Sorry, Pats fans.) Besides partisans and kooks, who could side with an organization that is successful beyond belief, skirts the rules and is led by an all-powerful boss facing serious legal questions? And unlike the sports team, Facebook wields enormous influence over how the world thinks and interacts. 

I don't root for the Patriots, or Facebook. But I’m uneasy about the growing calls for Facebook to be split into pieces, including the op-ed Thursday from Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s co-founders. The overriding questions that nag at me: What problems are we trying to solve, and does a breakup really address them?