Hughes is married to Sean Eldridge, the former political director of pro-same-sex marriage advocacy organization Freedom to Marry. 2 Eldridge unsuccessfully ran as a Democratic candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. 3
Background and Political Views
In 2012, Hughes the purchased left-of-center magazine The New Republic and became its editor-in-chief until he sold the publication in 2016 due to struggles with writers and editors. 4 5 The paper was eventually purchased by Oregon publisher Win McCormack. 6
In October 2019, Hughes’ Economic Security Project announced a new Anti-Monopoly Fund to support economic research and advocacy campaigns that focus on limiting corporate power. Donors to the $10 million dollar fund include the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Knight Foundation, George Soros‘s Open Society Foundations, and the Omidyar Network. 8
Criticism of Facebook
In May 2019, Hughes called for the U.S. government to break up Facebook in an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times. Citing a number of private conversations in which Zuckerberg confessed that he wanted to achieve complete “domination” over the social media market, Hughes argued that Facebook had intentionally become too powerful for other companies to compete with, and lawmakers therefore must step in and play their historical role as the disruptors of monopolies for the benefit of a more competitive private sector. 9
- Stelter, Brian. “The Facebooker Who Friended Obama”. New York Times. July 7, 2008. Accessed May 1, 2019 https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/07/technology/07hughes.html
- Ellison, Sarah. “The Complex Power Coupledom of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge”. Vanity Fair. June 4, 2015. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/06/chris-hughes-sean-eldridge-new-republic-congress-run
- Byers, Dylan. “NY-19: Sean Eldridge concedes defeat”. November 4, 2014. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/11/ny-19-sean-eldridge-concedes-defeat-198210
- Stelter, Brian and De La Merced, Michael. “New Republic Gets New Owner Steeped in New Media.” New York Times. March 9, 2012. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/new-republic-gets-an-owner-steeped-in-new-media/?smid=tw-mediadecoder&seid=auto
- Somaiya, Ravi. “ The New Republic Is For Sale Again. New York Times. January 11, 2016. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/business/media/chris-hughes-selling-the-new-republic.html
- Byers, Dylan. “The New Republic is sold by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes”. CNN Money. February 26, 2016. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://money.cnn.com/2016/02/26/media/new-republic-chris-hughes-win-mccormack/index.html
- James, Brendan. “Media Bigwigs Donate to Hillary Clinton; Writers Donate to Bernie Sanders”. International Business Times. February 10, 2016. Accessed May 1, 2019. https://www.ibtimes.com/media-bigwigs-donate-hillary-clinton-writers-donate-bernie-sanders-2301896
- Alex Daniels. “Grant Makers Face Uphill Battle as They Push for a Kinder Form of Capitalism.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, December 4, 2019. https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Grant-Makers-Face-Uphill/247651.
- Hughes, Chris. “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook.” The New York Times. May 09, 2019. Accessed May 09, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/opinion/sunday/chris-hughes-facebook-zuckerberg.html.