Blind to History, Facebook Is in the Trustbusters' Crosshairs – Bloomberg
I tried to warn Mark Zuckerberg that he risked becoming part Rockefeller, part Hearst. But the rest of us don’t have a good solution for what his platform has become.
Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty I
I have met Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg only once and it did not go well. It was at a dinner in July 2017, in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, and controversy was raging about Facebook’s political role. I had the temerity to warn him that he increasingly resembled a cross between John D. Rockefeller and William Randolph Hearst. By that I meant that Facebook was in danger not only of going the way of Standard Oil, the favorite target of the trustbusters of the Progressive Era, but also of becoming as politically toxic as the Hearst newspaper group became in the heyday of yellow journalism.
He did not click “Like.” I wasn’t surprised. He hadn’t taken any of my classes when he was at Harvard, either. Though he recently professed an admiration for Augustus Caesar, the Facebook founder has never struck me as seriously interested in history.