Top execs of Facebook insist it shouldn’t be broken up

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Adam Mosseri speaking at Disrupt SF

Instagram shouldn’t be split out of Facebook, the man in charge of the picture-sharing service said Monday, saying a breakup of the social network would make it harder to keep users safe.

Adam Mosseri, speaking at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, acknowledged that Facebook hadn’t focused enough on the “unintended consequences” of its products. But he said keeping the company together would help it create more value.

“It’s not fun to be criticized and written about that way,” Mosseri said. “But I really believe we create an immense amount of value in the world.”

Andrew Bosworth, who runs Facebook’s VR and AR operations, and shared the stage with Mosseri, would only weaken the two entities.

“If you break Facebook and Instagram apart, they have the same attack surfaces,” he said, adding they would each have fewer resources.

The comments come as calls to break up tech giants grow. Facebook’s critics, including co-founder Chris Hughes, think the social network has grown too big to control. Some lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, want regulators to split Instagram and WhatsApp from the social network. Facebook has pushed back against the idea. About 2.7 billion people use Facebook or its Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger services.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has called for more government regulation to help combat some of its biggest woes such as harmful content, election integrity and privacy. The social network has faced a series of scandals since revelations surfaced last year that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

Facebook is also facing a record-setting fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating the company’s alleged privacy mishaps.

Bosworth told the audience Facebook’s VR platform has generated $5 million in sales. Bosworth, who’s known as “Boz,” called the revenue performance a “big deal,” adding that the company’s products were becoming a “full ecosystem.