Yet another person who has worked with the social media giant Facebook is telling its users to delete their accounts from it. Above words were tweeted by Brian Acton yesterday. Since then it has been retweeted 2.5k times.
It is time. #deletefacebook
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Who is Brian Acton?
Brian Acton is the co-founder of WhatsApp with Jan Koum. Acton has had an interesting history with Facebook. In 2009, he applied for a job at Facebook but got turned down. After that, he went on to co-found the most actively used messaging app in the world – WhatsApp. Funny thing is, Facebook bought WhatsApp for a whooping sum of $19 billion in 2014.
Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) August 3, 2009
Acton left Facebook last year to start his own venture – Signal Foundation; an alternative to WhatsApp. The other co-founder Jan Koum is still working with the company.
Announcing the Signal Foundation:https://t.co/szLvFFl0xc
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) February 22, 2018
There has been a mass supporting recently in favor of deleting Facebook accounts due to its data leak controversy. Data from about 50 million Facebook users was leaked to a political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica. This news was surfaced last week and since then people are on a movement to delete their Facebook accounts. Reportedly, the data was used in the 2016 USA presidential elections campaign.
The Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Cambridge Analytica is a London based political data analytics firm that was that is accused of misusing the private data of Facebook users without their consent. The firm is largely funded by Robert Mercer, a Republican and hence Trump supporter. This news was first reported by the NewYork Times (How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions)and The Guardian (Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach).
The data was collected through a quiz type app called thisisyourdigitallife that was developed by Cambridge University academic AleksandrKogan in collaboration with Cambridge Analytica. In this app, the users were paid to take personality test once they are agreed to let the app collect user’s personal information for academic use. Moreover, app also collected the information of user’s Facebook friends.
This highly private data was then used to build highly personal ads for users Facebook feed to psychologically influence them. Although the firm has denied any such misuse but that is just sprinkling water on the fire.
Facebook, too, has been a bit silent on this which is creating more disturbance. Although they had suspended Cambridge Analytica from using Facebook the damage has been done.
This whole issue has created a debate over whether Facebook’s user data policy. Besides the general users, many Facebook employees and some of the important people linked to the company had said openly that Facebook is changing the social structure of our society which is not a good thing.
Former Facebook Executive ChamathPalihapitiyasaid that social media is ripping apart the society.
Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker said that social media exploits human vulnerabilities.