WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton renews call for users to delete Facebook

“WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton defended his decision to sell his company to Facebook for $19 billion and encouraged students to delete their accounts from the social network in a rare public appearance at Stanford University on Wednesday,” Ryan Mac reports for BuzzFeed News.

“Acton, a 47-year-old Stanford alum, explained the principles behind founding WhatsApp and his fateful decision to sell it to Facebook in 2014,” Mac reports. “In doing so, he also criticized the profit models driving today’s tech behemoths, including Facebook and Google, as well as the Silicon Valley ecosystem in which entrepreneurs are pressured to chase venture capital and large exits to satisfy employees and shareholders.”

“Despite selling WhatsApp in a deal that made him a billionaire several times over, Acton’s negative feelings about Facebook are no secret,” Mac reports. “In March 2018, following Facebook’s data privacy failings involving political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, Acton tweeted a call to ‘#deletefacebook.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sound advice.

New York investigating at least eleven iOS apps for transmitting personal data to Facebook, including ‘sexual activity’ – March 1, 2019
These apps are stealing your most private data and it should be a crime – February 25, 2019
You give apps your sensitive personal information, then they tell Facebook, even if you have no connection to Facebook – February 22, 2019
Apple blocks Facebook from running all of their internal iOS apps by revoking distribution certificate – January 30, 2019
Apple bans Facebook’s ‘research’ app that paid teens to install VPN that spies on them – January 30, 2019
Hidden documents reveal how Facebook made money by bamboozling children – January 18, 2019
Roger McNamee: I mentored Mark Zuckerberg. I loved Facebook. But I can’t stay silent about what’s happening. – January 17, 2019
Apple CEO Cook calls for U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation in TIME op-ed – January 17, 2019
Senator Marco Rubio introduces privacy bill to create federal regulations on data collection – January 16, 2019
Apple endorses comprehensive privacy legislation in U.S. Senate testimony – September 26, 2018
Trump administration working on federal data privacy policy – July 27, 2018


  1. Yep, I finally deleted Facebook after 15 years. And I was a hub for the last 3 years or so of use, posting, sharing, liking, and commenting multiple times a day.

    What finally got me were all of the privacy shenanigans, including the findings that when FB is open on your computer it is tracking the location of your mouse among other things.

    Then there was my unwillingness to be complicit in a system that magnifies outrage and fake news.

    Then there were the friends I had lost because of political back and forth. (Sometimes it’s better to like someone as a human being and be friends with them WITHOUT having access to all of their political nuttiness.)

    Then there was the time-sink that FB was in my life. 2-3 hours a day in total, including probably 40 minutes in the morning over breakfast and maybe another 40 minutes before bed.

    The biggest loss is Messenger, which was the only way that I could be in touch with some of those folks. The second biggest loss is the occasional good stuff that FB was actually good for — photos of people’s fun family moments, great shared articles that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, contextual news from within my field which was nicely aggregated on FB through friends’ feeds, and the occasional crowd-sourced local question which is nearly impossible to replicate without such a network.

    But I can say that I am WHOLEHEARTEDLY happy with my decision to fully, completely, and unrevocably delete my Facebook account along with my 800+ “friends.” I have enjoyed life more, had better relationships, and spent more time in actual news from reputable news sources.

    I would just add that I think Congress should consider a bill requiring FB and all social media sites to compartmentalize our data (it IS ours after all) and allow it to be exported entirely into other similar sites. The only reason FB remains huge and powerful is that any other network has to start from scratch. So there is no choice when it comes to the product. If other people could create similar platforms, compete on privacy and features, and invite you to port all your data from FB into them, then I think it’s possible that we’d see a great proliferation of different types of products all competing to find the sweet spot of serving the users and making a living.

    But even if that happens I myself will be out of the loop as my account is deleted. So be it. The sky is as blue as it ever was, and now I actually notice. So I’m good.

  2. Odd that the guy had no problem selling his company to Facebook. Sure that a financial decision but then why bitch about it after making billions out of the deal.
    Best thing he can do is set up a company that competes with Facebook with higher ethical standards.

  3. never tried it, never will…….
    I knew from the get go that I would have been the product, and this was when they were starting, it helped that I was a rabid tech reader and got early heads up, but hey, the story has been out there and sheep don’t listen, so this article will probably result in a dozen or so defectors. Just sayin’

  4. Thank you Hugo for the excellent post. There are some excellent policy solutions to make things better… Similar to what was done with the AT&T monopoly… Details in the excellent book Zucked. Recommend reading.

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