WhatsApp Co-Founder Encourages Everyone To #DeleteFacebook Following Cambridge Analytica Folly

After making billions of dollars from selling his messaging service to Facebook, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton says the time has come to move on from the world's most popular social networking service. He is not just talking about himself, either. Acton on Tuesday night tweeted, "It is time. #deletefacebook," using a hashtag that has been trending since the scandal with Cambridge Analytica made headlines.

Acton previously worked at Yahoo before co-founding WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging service in 2009. Five years later, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion, including $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares, and another $3 billion in restricted stock units doled out to WhatsApp personnel. Just like that, Acton became a multi-billionaire. Despite his newfound mega-wealth, Acton stayed on board through November of last year.

Having moved on from Facebook himself, Acton's call for others to the same (sans a multi-billion dollar payout) is notable not just because Facebook made him rich, but also because he's not particularly active on Twitter. His last tweet before the #deletefacebook message was in February of this year to announce the launch of Signal, and prior to that he had not tweeted a message to the public since April 5, 2016.
In a follow-up comment, Acton noted that "now's the time to care about privacy." it is an apparent reference to the messy situation surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that allegedly harvested and misuse private information from more than 50 million Facebook users, according to report in The New York Times. The full details of the situation are still coming to light, but in the meantime, Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica while it investigates a tip that the firm did not delete the information it obtained, as the company promised it would do.

Facebook has taken a bit of a beating on social media and in the stock market over the past several days. Using the same hashtag as Acton, Newsweek linked an article titled, "#DeleteFacebook is Trending, Is This the End of the Social Network?" That is probably a bit sensational (time will tell, we suppose), but it underscores the growing discontent over the amount of privacy that is traded for the benefits of social media, at least as it pertains to Facebook.