WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is urging everyone to delete their Facebook, now!
Mark Zuckerberg, owner, and creator of Facebook helped lead Brian Acton to billionaire status with WhatsApp, however, that doesn’t seem to be enough for Acton to not turn against Facebook. The co-founder of WhatsApp recently took to his Twitter to advise everyone to delete their Facebook accounts saying: “It is time #deletefacebook”, Acton wrote.
Why the sudden change in heart? Well, if you haven’t heard, Facebook is all anyone is talking about, and here’s why. Cambridge Analytica is a British behavioral research firm that was established in 2013 just ahead of the 2014 US mid-term elections. Why does this matter? Well, Robert Mercer, who is the Republican hedge fund manager, hired Cambridge Analytica to help with Donald Trump’s successful election campaign in 2016.
The Analytica company says it “uses data to change audience behavior”, and paid people to download an app which then “scraped” information from their Facebook profiles, as well as those of their friends. This company essentially exploited the profiles of up to 50 million Facebook users during the election campaigns without them really knowing.
Although we don’t know if this did, in fact, influence the 2016 US election, many people are going after Cambridge Analytica’s founder, Aleksandr Kogan, for essentially exploiting their identities, and Brian Acton is certainly not happy about the breach.
The Californian-based entrepreneur is urging people to remove their profiles as Facebook faces immense pressure to explain its privacy safeguards after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. According to Daily Mail, it takes up to 90 days to completely remove a user’s data from the site after deleting it, which may not be the worst idea after news broke of the privacy breach.
Facebook stock has fallen by 10 percent since the #deletefacebook hashtag has been trending, all due to the actions of Brian Acton. The WhatsApp co-founder left after working with the social platform for several years before starting the Signal Foundation earlier this year.
Facebook also rejected Brian in 2009 for a potential work position; however, he claims that this is by no means the reason for why he’s calling for a Facebook boycott. Considering Acton is worth nearly $5.5 billion, we’re sure he isn’t doing this for a reason other than genuine concern for Facebook users' privacy.
Mark Zuckerberg has yet to comment on the current events surrounding Facebook, and his silence is definitely not a good look.