As Facebook deals with one its largest data breaches, WhatsApp’s co-founder Brian Acton has joined the rising chorus of people advocating deletion of Facebook accounts.
Acton, who sold the instant messaging platform to Facebook for $19 billion, took to Twitter and simply said, “It is time. #deletefacebook.”
It is time. #deletefacebook
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Trump consultants allegedly exploited the Facebook data of millions
Facebook is already facing the heat for mishandling its user data. A series of reports in The New York Times, Observer claimed Cambridge Analytica, a political data analytics firm backed used by Trump supporters, accessed the personal data of possibly 50 million of the social network’s users without their permission.
The information was then misused for political ads during the 2016 US presidential election.
The reach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Apparently, the leak happened in knowledge of the Facebook but the public wasn’t made aware of this news until this weekend.
Social Media backlash
When the reports of data leak emerged, several disgruntled social media users started #deletefacebook campaign.
“Facebook was our hands-on partners.”
“Without Facebook, we wouldn’t have won.”
“Facebook really and truly put us over the edge.”
“Facebook was *the* medium that proved most successful for this [Trump] campaign.”https://t.co/5viU0PLhkO#DeleteFacebook #DumpFacebook
— Theodore Grunewald (@TedGrunewald) March 17, 2018
— IAM TECH (@dchintu5) March 21, 2018
— Mike McKenna #FBPE #Remain (@Hmmckenna) March 20, 2018
Facebook is a data collecting, manipulative and, in some cases, life-harming site that dont deserve a minute more of your time on earth.
— James (@JamesInUK) March 20, 2018
How authorities have reacted so far
Meanwhile, some of the US Senators have called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress, on the grounds that the platform could no longer be trusted to police itself.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Zuckerberg should appear before the panel to explain what the social network knew about the misuse of its data “to target political advertising and manipulate voters.”
Adam Schiff, the lead Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee said the company should be “thoroughly investigated”.
In UK too, MPs summoned Zuckerberg to appear before a select committee investigating fake news and accused his company of misleading them at a previous hearing.
In a letter to Zuckerberg, Damian Collins, the chair of UK’s powerful Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, accused the company of misleading the committee over how third parties acquired and held user data from its site adding that the company needed to explain itself to the parliament.