WhatsApp co-founder calls for people to delete Facebook

Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, on Tuesday asked users to delete social media platform Facebook, amid allegations of data leak of its users for political purposes.

Acton posted a tweet on Twitter yesterday saying "It is time" followed by the hashtag #deletefacebook, showing his support for the ongoing protest against Facebook over the company's failure of protecting user data and privacy.

In the present year, Acton assisted in funding the Signal Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Signal, the encrypted texting app favored by privacy advocates including Edward Snowden.

As per a report, it has been revealed that the political data firm Cambridge Analytica, harvested over 50 million user profiles unauthentically, to help mold the election campaigns for Donald Trump as well as the Pro-Brexit camp.

Zuckerberg's silence has been notable in the aftermath of the news, which brought new attention to how Facebook had previously allowed connected apps to take data from users that opted in, as well as data from the friends of those users. One of the user wrote, ' #deletefacebook I stopped personally using it seven years ago. His tweet has created a big controversy in the social media world.

Back in 2014, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for the princely sum of $16 billion, raising quite a few eyebrows regarding return on that investment. Meanwhile, lawmakers from the USA and the United Kingdom have called for action following the reports of the data leak of the Facebook users.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have yet to issue a statement. "Sandy Parakilas told Guardian that Facebook had terms of service and settings that "people didn't read or understand" and the company did not use its enforcement mechanisms, including audits of external developers, to ensure data was not being misused".

Even before the Cambridge Analytica debacle surfaced this week, Facebook has been criticized for mishandling personal information.

People eager to delete their profiles may find unexpected problems that point to how integral Facebook is to many activities, said Ifeoma Ajunwa, a professor of organisational behaviour at Cornell University.

  • David Armstrong