WhatsApp cofounder: ‘It is time’ to delete Facebook
After reports of Cambridge Analytica using Facebook’s user information came to light, people across social media have begun to urge others to either #DeleteFacebook or #BoycottFacebook in response.
One surprising voice has joined this movement – WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
It is time. #deletefacebook
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Mr Acton left the company in 2017, three years after Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn at the then exchange rates) in 2014.
Facebook is using us. It is actively giving away our information. It is creating an echo chamber in the name of connection. It surfaces the divisive and destroys the real reason we began using social media in the first place – human connection.
“We all moved on from MySpace. We can move on from Facebook too.”
This was a typical message found on Twitter in the wake of accusations over Cambridge Analytica using personal data from 50 million Facebook users to influence the US presidential election in 2016.
The #DeleteFacebook hashtag appeared to gain attention after one Twitter user quoted a BBC Stories tweet from 2017 – an interview with Theresa Wong about Cambridge Analytica, originally broadcast on BBC Two in the series Secrets of Silicon Valley.
CEO Zuckerberg and COO Sandberg have drawn criticism for their silence in the face of mounting concern about Facebook’s response to revelations about Cambridge Analytica. The company, which served as Donald Trump’s data operations team during the 2016 election, has been accused of improperly obtaining data from academic researcher Aleksandr Kogan and using it to harvest information about more than 50 million user profiles.
Wired reported on Tuesday that the issue had become contentious inside Facebook:
As the storm built over the weekend, Facebook’s executives, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, strategized and argued late into the night. They knew that the public was hammering them, but they also believed that the fault lay much more with Cambridge Analytica than with them. Still, there were four main questions that consumed them. How could they tighten up the system to make sure this didn’t happen again? What should they do about all the calls for Zuckerberg to testify? Should they sue Cambridge Analytica? And what could they do about psychologist Joseph Chancellor, who had helped found Kogan’s firm and who now worked, of all places, at Facebook?
Deleting Facebook may not be a viable option for some, but those who want to detach themselves from the Facebook platform would need to delete apps Facebook owns, too, which include WhatsApp and Instagram.
Zuckerberg may be working around the clock, but he is expected to address employees on Friday during the company’s regular Q&A session for employees, The Dailypunch has learned.