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Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes: Social networks have a big responsibility to society

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
  • Facebook's efforts to prevent foreign entities from influencing U.S. elections are a "step in the right direction," co-founder Chris Hughes says.
  • Hughes also says Facebook and other social networks have a public responsibility.

Facebook FB 's efforts to prevent foreign entities from influencing U.S. elections are a "step in the right direction," the social network co-founder, Chris Hughes, told CNBC on Tuesday.

The social network announced over the weekend that it would send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the U.S. The recipient of the postcard would then have to enter a code from the back of the postcard on Facebook to continue buying the ad.

"From what I hear, [the postcards] are a step in the right direction to ensure the 2018 elections doesn't have that kind of meddling like the 2016 one did," said Hughes, who is not involved in the decision making on Facebook.

Facebook and other social networks have a responsibility, Hughes told " Squawk Box ." Facebook should not only observe content "from friends and family members that we might disagree with but [also] make sure foreign powers are not hacking our election," Hughes argued.

Last year , Facebook told lawmakers that Russia-based operatives published posts on the social media site in an effort to sway U.S. politics. The company has since taken steps to ensure something similar doesn't happen again.

On Friday , special counsel Robert Mueller said a federal grand jury charged 13 Russians with interfering in the presidential election.

"Facebook is going through a maturation process," Hughes said Tuesday. "The whole team is realizing it's not just a place to go for fun [and] entertaining content. You just don't go to announce a wedding or the birth of a newborn."

"It's how we get our news, it's how we discuss and with that comes a very serious responsibility," he added.

Hughes was a Harvard dormmate of co-founder and current Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and early spokesperson for the social network. Hughes published an op-ed in The Guardian, calling for the U.S. to provide guaranteed income for every working adult who makes less than $50,000.

Hughes, who made a fortune as a co-founder of Facebook, also told CNBC that the digital economy is "going to continue to destroy" jobs in America.



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