Brian Acton, the co-founder of messaging app, WhatsApp, who made billions from its sale to Facebook, has said that “it’s time” for people to delete Facebook.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, in which 50 million user profiles from Facebook were breached and gathered, the social network’s stock price fell more than 11 percent. Facebook is now facing crackdowns from regulators in the U.S. and Europe. Not only that, but the Mark Zuckerberg-led platform is also facing a lawsuit from its own investors.
On Tuesday, Acton tweeted that “It’s time” to delete Facebook with the hashtag “#DeleteFacebook”. The hashtag he used has been trending since the scandal broke last week. While the WhatsApp co-founder urged his 25 thousand followers to bid farewell from the social network, Google searches for “How to delete Facebook” spiked and many people criticized Facebook’s silence during this time.
Acton was an engineer and executive at Yahoo before he co-founded WhatsApp in 2009. Facebook bought the messaging app in 2014 which made Acton a multi-billionaire after which he stayed with the company until November last year.
Acton currently is the head of the Signal Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to develop open source privacy technology that protects free expression and enables secure global communication. While WhatsApp had previously used Signal’s open-source, end-to-end encryption technology, the app is a direct rival to the company. This technology was developed by Signal founder, Moxie Marlinspike and his team at Open Whisper Systems.
In February, Marlinspike announced the creation of the Signal Foundation, a new nonprofit funded by Acton. Acton invested $50 million into the project as a starter.
“Brian left WhatsApp and Facebook last year, and has been thinking about how to best focus his future time and energy on building nonprofit technology for public good,” Marlinspike said.
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