For over a year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg been battling accusations that he helped throw the 2016 presidential election Donald Trump’s way — a cardinal sin among Silicon Valley types — through the promulgation of “fake news,” some of which originated and/or was funded by Russians, who spent a whopping $100,000 on Facebook ads.
Now, with a massive possible lawsuit on the way, and federal fines, Brian Acton, the co-creator of Whats App, a messaging program that sold to Facebook for $16 billion dollars, is telling everyone to get out now.
From Conservative Tribune:
it was revealed Friday that Cambridge Analytica had misused some Facebook data on behalf of Trump’s presidential campaign (which, to be fair, is hardly Facebook’s fault).
But on the heels of that news came the revelation that liberals had used similar data in similar ways on behalf of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, with Facebook’s tacit (and perhaps explicit) approval — and that’s clearly Facebook’s fault.
All of that combined led to the trending #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter Wednesday — and one of the users who tweeted it was Acton, who, along with co-founder Jan Koum, sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014 for $16 billion.
“It is time,” Acton wrote.
Both WhatsApp and the billionaire Acton himself decline further comment to TheVerge for a story about the tweet and the trending hashtag.
Of course, Acton, who recently invested $50 million to WhatsApp alternative Signal, may have been acting in a spirit of competition, hoping to create more market space for his new app.
All of this has led to a decline in Facebook’s stock price of almost 11 percent this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company is worth about $54 billion less than it was just a week ago.
“Acton is not the first former Facebook executive to express unease about the company after leaving it. Last year, former head of growth Chamath Palihapitiya caused a firestorm after saying ‘we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.’ Other former executives to express regrets include Sean Parker, Justin Rosenstein, and investor Roger McNamee.”
Zuckerberg himself broke his silence about the ongoing controversies in a Facebook post Wednesday. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” he wrote.
Truer words were never spoken, Mark.