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‘Delete Facebook’, thunders WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton; reiterates his stand on deleting the app

It seems like Acton is still standing by his last year’s war cry, ‘#DeleteFacebook’.

ET Online|
Updated: Nov 12, 2019, 04.23 PM IST
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Agencies
The social media war: WhatsApp co-founder slams Facebook again, expresses concern over encryption and security.
The social media war: WhatsApp co-founder slams Facebook again, expresses concern over encryption and security.
It won’t be wrong to say that WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton is not particularly fond of Facebook and its CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg. The computer programmer has made his displeasure with Facebook’s privacy and encryption (or lack thereof) clear on multiple occasions.

The co-founder of the Signal Foundation recently spoke at Wired’s 25th Summit, ‘WIRED25’, a two day conference held in San Francisco, which seeks to explore ideas and innovations for a better future.

At the conference, Acton made it clear that nothing much has changed since last year and reiterated his 2018 stand of deleting Facebook. "If you want to be on Facebook and you want to have ads thrust in front of you, go to town," Acton said, as reported by The Verge.

Brian Acton sat down for a chat with Steven Levvy at WIRED25. (Representative Image)
Brian Acton sat down for a chat with Steven Levvy at WIRED25. (Representative Image)

For the uninitiated, the rivalry between Acton and Facebook began back in 2017, when Acton had a conflict with Zuckerberg regarding WhatApp’s monetisation. The two couldn’t reconcile and Acton decided to leave. Not only did the entrepreneur leave $850 million worth of stock but he went on to become a vocal critic of the social network.

In 2018, when Facebook was in the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Acton sent out a tweet which read, ‘#DeleteFacebook’ followed by no context or explanation.


The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that the British consulting firm had harvested data of millions of peoples’ Facebook profiles without their consent and used it for the purpose of political advertising which influenced the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Elections.

At the Wired Summit, journalist Steven Levvy asked Acton why he made his feelings public. The tech mogul said, “At the time, there was pressure unfolding against Facebook,” Acton explained.

“I was like, maybe it’s time. But then I realized a fatal flaw in Facebook is they don’t have tombstones. When you disappear, you disappear. So I left my tombstone on Twitter. To my chagrin was a lot more public and visible”, The Verge reported.

Even though Acton has given up on Facebook and prefers Twitter, the tech honcho is not very active on the microblogging site.
Even though Acton has given up on Facebook and prefers Twitter, the tech honcho is not very active on the microblogging site.

One of the biggest points of contention between Acton and Zuckerberg is that the former is skeptical about the latter’s commitment to encryption. “If he wants to make it happen, he will. But he has been known to change his mind”, Acton told Levvy.

Acton’s interview at the Wired summit proved that the 47-year-old is still standing by his last year’s war cry, ‘#DeleteFacebook’ and will continue to call out the tech giant whenever it does something wrong.

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