By Joe Harker
At what point does big tech get too big?
Much of our work online is dominated by huge companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook, the latter of which is the world's biggest social media site.
US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has said she would break up the giants if she makes it to the Oval Office, but could she do it.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg isn't too worried, having promised he will "go to the mat and fight" if the government tries to break up his empire.
He considers Warren in the White House to be an "existential threat" to his site remaining at a gargantuan size, having said the intervention would "suck for us", but he thinks he could win the legal battle.
Zuckerberg has threatened a "major lawsuit" and said he "would bet that we will win the legal challenge" so he appears confident that even if Warren became president she wouldn't be able to break up Facebook.
CNN reports that a legal attempt to break up Facebook is something he's spent a couple of years readying himself for.
The suggestion to break up Facebook was mooted during congressional hearings Zuckerberg underwent in April 2018, which prompted him to amalgamate various platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp into Facebook to avoid the obvious way to break up his business empire.
The Counter Claim:
However, Warren appears to be getting the backing of Silicon Valley despite promising to break up big tech and her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 election is going well.
Polling has her as one of the most popular candidates to contest the election against Donald Trump, with her rising in support on the back of successful debate performances.
While former vice president Joe Biden is still the frontrunner he has struggled in debates and there is a suspicion that as time goes by his popularity will drop, allowing someone like Warren to take the lead and ultimately the Democratic nomination.
A president with the backing of Silicon Valley and a mandate to break up tech giants like Facebook could do more than make things "suck" for Zuckerberg.
She believes the social media site has engaged in illegal anti-competitive practices and made many missteps over user privacy. If a smoking gun can be found then Facebook could be in a lot of trouble.
Facebook is the largest social media site in the world, with 1.59 billion daily users as of June 2019 and 2.41 billion monthly users at the same point. Over 2.1 billion people in the world use some part of Facebook's empire daily, with Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp under Zuckerberg's umbrella.
It is an absolutely huge empire of social media and messaging sites that almost a third of the world's population uses every day.
Facebook might be slapped with fines and punishments but actually dismantling it is a much more difficult task.