WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton backed calls for users to delete their Facebook accounts, following revelations the data of 50 million users was harvested by an analytics company to help US President Donald Trump’s election campaign.
Acton’s backing for the #deletefacebook movement is a high profile and significant move given he sold WhatsApp to the social media company for $19 billion in 2014 and worked there until September 2017.
The call to delete Facebook comes after the social media giant faced immense backlash for its mishandling of user data and the silence of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on the issue.
Reports in The New York Times and The Guardian said University of Cambridge lecturer Aleksandr Kogan and political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica accessed the data without user consent to build software which could predict and even influence voters’ choices.
Facebook learned of this in 2015, but didn’t discuss it publicly until last week.