Activist Groups Launch Campaign To Break Up Facebook

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has

Facebook Faces 'Oppenheimer Moment' Over Trump Scandal

A coalition of activist groups on Monday announced a campaign to break up Facebook, arguing that the huge social network “has too much power over our lives and democracy.”

The groups created a website, and a Facebook page, to garner support for a petition to the US Federal Trade Commission to require the social media firm to spin off Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger into competing networks, and to “impose strong privacy rules.”

The effort was launched by a handful of groups focusing on digital rights, privacy and other social causes.

“Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have amassed a scary amount of power,” the groups said on their website.

“Facebook unilaterally decides the news that billions of people around the world see every day. It buys up or bankrupts potential competitors to protect its monopoly, killing innovation and choice. It tracks us almost everywhere we go on the web and, through our smartphones, even where we go in the real world.”

The effort comes with Facebook under fire in the US and elsewhere over the hijacking of private user data on some 87 million users, adding to concerns on how internet platforms were manipulated to spread misinformation during the 2016 US election.

Responding to the campaign, a company spokesman said Facebook “is in a competitive environment where people use our apps at the same time they use free services offered by many others.”

The spokesman said in an emailed statement that “the average person uses eight different apps to communicate and stay connected.”

Chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg told a US congressional panel last month that it “doesn’t feel like” Facebook is a monopoly.

Facebook has an estimated two billion users worldwide, and its Messenger and Whatsapp messaging services each have more than one billion.

Any breakup would require a lengthy investigation by US authorities and a potentially long court battle as well.

The latest campaign was launched by the activist organizations Demand Progress, MoveOn, and SumOfUs, along with the groups Citizens Against Monopoly, Jewish Voice for Peace and Muslim Grassroots Movement.

It comes as Zuckerberg prepared to appear before European Parliament members to answer questions on the data scandal involving Cambridge Analytica, which obtained Facebook user data while working on the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.


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Sorry Instagram, WAH Nails Boss Has A Social Network For Next-Gen Beauty

  Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and Beautystack. Photo: courtesy of Beautystack. Sharmadean Reid, the founder of London’s globally-renowned


Sharmadean Reid
Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and Beautystack. Photo: courtesy of Beautystack.

Sharmadean Reid, the founder of London’s globally-renowned salon WAH Nails, sports graphic rainbows of red, yellow and blue on her fingertips.

Her Soho-based business has 480,000 Instagram followers. It has had celebrity fans like tennis champion Serena Williams, “Suicide Squad’”s Margot Robbie and Brit Award-winner Jorja Smith. And it regularly partners with global brands like Marc Jacobs, Nike and British Airways.

Now Reid is building her second business, Beautystack—a kind of Instagram for beauty geeks.

This lets professionals show off their work on personalized social pages, while customers book treatments by clicking images they like.

“WAH is cool, and I didn’t want to defile its coolness by using old-school software,” says Reid of her shiny new tech startup. “There is no social-visual booking system right now in the world. Nothing else exists.”

The WAH Nails Instagram account. Photo courtesy of WAH Nails.

Sharmadean Reid doing what Instagram can’t

It might sound bold, but European investors have already backed Reid’s photo-first beauty platform to the tune of nearly $1 million.

VC firm LocalGlobe announced its first investment in the beauty space—an industry worth $445 billion annually—while other angels involved in the round include Mark Sebba (former CEO at Net-A-Porter Group), David Rowan (founding UK editor-in-chief of WIRED) and Julien Codorniou (VP and global head of Workplace by Facebook).

Reid says that she’s succeeded in winning investors cash because WAH has given her unique insights into the unmet problems in the beauty market.

“Today everyone looks on Instagram or Pinterest and screenshots pictures of the treatments they want,” Reid says of customers who struggle to find and book beauticians they trust.

“They have to take that picture, find someone to do it, and hope it works out for the best.”

At the same time, even some of the best independent beauticians lack smart booking systems to manage their hundreds of customers, often relying on WhatsApp or DM messages to talk to clients, Reid says.

Beautystack not only solves these problems but allows beauticians to swerve umbrella marketplaces and on-demand beauty apps to build their own portfolio and business.

“Beauty professionals want to work under their own brand,” notes Reid.

“They are extremely creative and as artists they don’t want to be wearing a company t-shirt, schlepping across town to take a slither of a cut.”

Image courtesy of Beautystack.

Reid’s own professional page on Beautystack offers customized grills.

The future of beauty?

Reid’s initial web-based beta is already being tested by 100 carefully-selected professionals who’ve built their own Squarespace-style pages.

Now she’s set on using her recent funding to develop a fully-fledged mobile app (this is due to launch this summer in London and L.A.).

An impressive 700 professionals are already on Beautystacks waiting list, including specialists like Chanice Sienna (founder of Bam Brows) and Lord Gavin McLeod-Valentine (the facialist who counts celebrities like Susan Sarandon among his clients), says Reid.

Reid plans to keep access to Beautystack free, taking only a small (as yet unconfirmed) transaction fee on sales, with subscription services for extra accounting, invoicing and business tools.

“Everyone keeps talking about influencers, but the next wave of influencers in beauty will come from highly influential beauty professionals,” says Reed.

Something to get your nails into this summer?

Follow me @kittygknowles. More info over at

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