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WhatsApp Co-Founder Tells Everyone To Delete Facebook, Further Fueling the #DeleteFacebook Movement (theverge.com) 307

"In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 billion, making its co-founders -- Jan Koum and Brian Acton -- very wealthy men," reports The Verge. "Koum continues to lead the company, but Acton quit earlier this year to start his own foundation." Today, Acton told his followers on Twitter to delete Facebook. From the report: "It is time," Acton wrote, adding the hashtag #deletefacebook. Acton, who is worth $6.5 billion, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Nor did Facebook and WhatsApp. It was unclear whether Acton's feelings about Facebook extend to his own app. But last month, Acton invested $50 million into Signal, an independent alternative to WhatsApp. The tweet came after a bruising five-day period for Facebook that has seen regulators swarm and its stock price plunge following concerns over data privacy in the wake of revelations about Cambridge Analytica's misuse of user data. Acton isn't the only one taking to Twitter to announce their breakup with Facebook. The #DeleteFacebook movement is gaining steam following the New York Times' report about how the data of 50 million users had been unknowingly leaked and purchased to aid President Trump's successful 2016 bid for the presidency. For many users, the news "highlighted the danger of Facebook housing the personal information of billions of users," reports SFGate. "And even before the Cambridge Analytica news, Facebook has been grappling with its waning popularity in the U.S. The company lost 1 million domestic users last quarter -- its first quarterly drop in daily users."
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WhatsApp Co-Founder Tells Everyone To Delete Facebook, Further Fueling the #DeleteFacebook Movement

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:02AM (#56296481)
    It's never to late to act sensibly.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The PRISM news should have got most of the users into crypto to reduce their use.
    • 4 years ago he sold his company to FB. Which means he's been waiting 4 years to finish collecting those billions/unloading the FB stock he got. Now that he's no longer financially/contractually tied to FB, he's speaking his mind.

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:04AM (#56296497) Journal
    I have a new tag: #idontwantsocialmedia. Now I am going to post this tag everywhere!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...to get yourself hard-banned.

    So that they do not want you in their graph data set anymore. So that your are poison to their data and "community"!

    Which is surprisingly easy: Just give yourself an offensive fake name, and change as much of your profile as you can to fake offensive shit.
    They will then ban you, block your profile, and demand that you prove that your fake name is real with personal documents that they would never ever get, even if your name was real. Like a copy of your passport, or personal b

    • Why not just have a real profile with fake data?

      Having valid information is good. Having bogus information that you know is bogus is also ok. Having bogus information you cannot tell from valid information is death to a database.

      • They won't let you pick a fictional place to live. I kept trying to pick Arrakis and it was not accepted.

        • They won’t accept real places either, it wouldn’t allow me to have Plato Crater, Luna. Admittedly this may be proof the “moon” we see really is fake, and the address I wanted, Moonbase Alpha, really has been blasted out of orbit...

      • by Spamalope ( 91802 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @10:44AM (#56297037)
        Yes! Poisoning the database is the best way.

        Won't someone make a plugin that peer to peer shares your advertising stalking cookies to randomize them? It'd be tougher for them to filter out genuine cookies to keep the poison out. For bonus points report that it's being done 6 months to a year later. Later publicly ask whether they're disclosing this or get quotes for an ad buy to see.
  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:09AM (#56296535)
    This is ridiculous:

    the data of 50 million users had been unknowingly leaked and purchased to aid President Trump

    Facebook's business is *knowingly* providing access to those data. The only reason Cambridge Analytica was dinged was because Facebook didn't get their cut.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sinij ( 911942 )
      Not even that. FB is under attack because wrong-thinking people used its capabilities.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not even that. FB is under attack because wrong-thinking people used its capabilities.

        You mean like when Obama's campaign was doing the same thing? This is nothing new... when something is free to you, you're the product for sale.

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:50AM (#56296711) Homepage

      Well it's not quite that simple. Whether it's because of explicit terms of service or it's users making assumptions, people had some expectations of how the data that they'd given to Facebook would be shared. Cambridge Analytica "got dinged" because they mislead people by claiming they were performing academic research and because they violated Facebook's terms of service.

      Also because their behavior was unethical and disturbing in any case. It doesn't help that they'd been approached by Putin's stooges to influence American elections, and then went to work on the Trump campaign, thereby creating yet another suspicious tie between Trump and Putin.

      • Fair enough, I simplified a bit. But my basic point is, CA did same thing with those data that any other Facebook customer does. Perhaps some people are waking up to what it means to tell Facebook all about yourself.
      • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @10:30AM (#56296953) Homepage
        Allegedly, in addition to misusing the data Facebook had knowingly provided (albeit under false pretenses of academic research), Cambridge Analytica also went above and beyond the accepted methods of acquiring the profile data using techniques that are skating a thin line between whether they are actually legal or not. Facebook was quite right to ding them. Political partisanship aide (yes, Obama did it too, and FWIW I found that usage rather disturbing as well, although the techniques used now seem to be on a whole other level), it's absolutely unethical and if not squashed now then you can bet that $party_you_dont_approve_of will using it come the next election.

        Psychologically, that angle is also rather interesting - people don't like admitting they were scammed / maniupulated, and often get overly defensive as a method of coping with the subconcious knowledge that it has probably happened to them - it's one of the classic stages of acceptance. The reality is that advertisers, politicians, and other shills do this to us Every. Single. Day. and if you step back from the political partisanship it's pretty clear that a lot of voters on all sides got manipulated and had their well-targetted buttons pushed in the US election, the Brexit referendum, and several other elections Cambridge Analytica was supposedly involved in. Do we *really* want to leave that tool in their box unchecked, and continuing to become more and more effective?
      • "...people had some expectations of how the data that they'd given to Facebook would be shared."

        If Facebook users had any idea how much information Facebook has on them they would be incensed. If they knew how it was used they would be mortified and outraged. Facebook's entire value, and continuing existence, is predicated on the users never finding out how much data Facebook collects about them and how that data is used.

        The misleading that Cambridge Analytical is accused of is pretty much common practice

      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        people had some expectations of how the data that they'd given to Facebook would be shared.

        But they didn't have any expectations of [limits to] how the data they gave to Facebook would be used.

        Everything Cambridge Analytica did, Facebook also tries to offer the same service, and they want to do directly. Facebook could have just as easily sold the same targeted ads, just been more in direct control. Whichever way it had gone, all users had opted into getting tailored propaganda, and also (through empowering

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sycodon ( 149926 )

      Not to mention that the data wasn't used to, "aid President Trump".

      He used RNC data, which was more accurate.

      • But that makes for good headlines, doesn't it? As if Zuckerberg would ever have done anything willfully to support Trump. The idea is beyond absurd. The FB newsfeed favors liberal media by a landslide, citing chiefly CNN, HuffPo, NYT, and WaPo.

    • by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper&booksunderreview,com> on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @10:20AM (#56296891) Homepage Journal

      purchased to aid President Trump's successful 2016 bid for the presidency

      This is somewhat easy to misconstrue. Most people will take that as the data was used in the general election, when according to this story:

      “In late September 2016, Cambridge and other data vendors were submitting bids to the Trump campaign. Then-candidate Trump’s campaign used Cambridge Analytica during the primaries and in the summer because it was never certain the Republican National Committee would be a willing, cooperative partner. Cambridge Analytica instead was a hedge against the RNC, in case it wouldn’t share its data.

      The crucial decision was made in late September or early October when Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s digital guru on the 2016 campaign, decided to utilize just the RNC data for the general election and used nothing from that point from Cambridge Analytica or any other data vendor. The Trump campaign had tested the RNC data, and it proved to be vastly more accurate than Cambridge Analytica’s, and when it was clear the RNC would be a willing partner, Mr. Trump’s campaign was able to rely solely on the RNC. “

  • The young people are no longer there anyway, only meemaw and peepaw are staying there and they don't vote anyway.

  • Delete all you want but FB still retains all the information you shared.
    • Fortunately stale data is often worse than no data.

    • It does make it harder for third parties to scrape your data.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:17AM (#56296569)


    The problem isn't Cambridge Analytics. Obama's campaign was much worse about digital snooping. (Getting DVR viewing history? Seriously?)

    But neither of them has abused their power nearly as much as has Facebook internally. The part about FB researching depressed early teen Australians for advertising purposes is probably just one of many extreme examples.

    Time for FB / Google / Amazon to be broken up using the old trust busting laws.

    • Good luck. The credit data of basically every American eligible for credit was leaked and nothing was done.
    • Amazon to be broken up using the old trust busting laws

      The same Amazon that was only recently approved to merge with a retailer to become even bigger? You have a lot of sociological hurdles to overcome before you can dust of those old forgotten laws.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "(Getting DVR viewing history? Seriously?)"

      Sold by the DVR/TV companies, obviously. Nothing illegal or unethical on the campaign's part, perhaps on the part of the equipment/service company.

      "Time for FB / Google / Amazon to be broken up using the old trust busting laws."

      I get the feeling that would fail as they're currently not acting as egregiously as Microsoft did in the 90s, though many of the other elements are there.

  • This movement is so influential that I'm going to finally break down and sign up to claim my facebook shadow account just so I can delete it! Sure, it won't actually be deleted and they'll probably get more info on my than ever but damn it will feel good! ;)

  • by RabidDawg ( 915326 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:18AM (#56296575)
  • Facebook-free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:22AM (#56296591)
    I deleted my Facebook account back in the beginning of November 2017. I am now 120 days free from the bullshit! There is no way I will ever go back. I hope more people join the movement to delete Facebook and lead richer, fuller lives.
    • Re:Facebook-free (Score:4, Insightful)

      by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:39AM (#56296673)

      Since about 2-3 years ago I stopped using Facebook for personal stuff and now just post carefully curated things on it. I basically treat it as a public profile, so that if recruiters/customers etc go snooping for me they can have a look at some photos of my dog and see that I go on holiday every now and again. Pretty much like another linked-in.

      Most other people I know do the same. We've moved family and friend groups to other networks, or just use email.

      Does anyone actually share their life honestly on Facebook anymore? I don't even get many original posts from 'friends' now as my feed is always clogged up with adverts and viral videos. Personally I think the whole platform has jumped the shark, but will survive because lazy HR directors want to review job candidate's social media accounts instead of doing proper interviews.

      • They've all gone to Instagram. Facebook is for memes and political crap. Instagram is for personal shares. Yeah I know that's not much better, but the crowd has gone there.

        I'm willing to bet a significant percentage of the #deleteFacebook population have kept their Instagram accounts. :)
      • I wonder how good Diaspora is these days. The concept of having small "social networks" that communicate with each other is nice, although this was done before. Everything FB does has been handled by other protocols, with FB's main advantage being a "one-stop shop". Messaging is handled by a slew of protocols. A "wall" is a web page that WordPress or similar can handle well. Web forums replace groups. For videos, an open S3 bucket is good for downloads, or perhaps someone just keeps a torrent seeded.


    • I deleted my Facebook account back in the beginning of November 2017. I am now 120 days free from the bullshit! There is no way I will ever go back. I hope more people join the movement to delete Facebook and lead richer, fuller lives.

      Let me guess. You still have a Twitter account though. At worst Facebook is super annoying, but you can make a case that Twitter is actually doing real harm to human society, yet which of the two do you still probably have? Yeah.

    • Re:Facebook-free (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:55AM (#56296739)

      I never bother deleting it. You can also just stop using it.

      The biggest problem with Facebook, is the attempt to try to show that your life is a success, while others are doing the same thing. So you just kinda see things from peoples good day. I got promoted today! (While they are still underpaid for their skills). Look at my new apartment! (because I got evicted from the old one). Look at my New Car! (The last one was in a wreck). Look at my world travels (You are in the military, on shore leave and about to be redeployed or you job is throwing you across the world and that picture is the only site seeing you are doing before locking yourself in an office for the rest of the day)

      That and you see a combined posting of hundreds of people at least one of them is having a good day, so you feel like your few good days a year is somehow worse then others.

      In many ways Facebook has stopped us from growing up, we are reminded on a daily bases of all your inadequacies of your childhood.

    • Re:Facebook-free (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:57AM (#56296745)

      Trouble with deleting your profile is that somebody can trivially impersonate you by creating a new profile in your name.

      Your shadow profile still exists too... everyone who has you in their contacts likely uploaded your phone number, email and possibly home address, your face is in people’s photos, the exif data puts you at specific places at specific times, etc.

      All your old measages still exist in the profiles of the people you communicated with. Your social media footprint is still in their database.

      Better to keep the profile and lose your login.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      My problem is I never made a FB account, they did it for me.
      Years ago they send me a mail inviting me to join my friends and family on FB.
      Due to EU legislation they had to offer me the ability to unsubscribe from their annoying mail but rest assured, they still have my data.
      How they got it, including my mail address?
      Stupid 'friends and family' uploaded their address books to FB.

      So now I wonder if EU law is strong enough to not only delete my unwanted and never used account but to also force FB to remo
    • and lead richer, fuller lives

      If you need to delete something in order to do this then you were doing it wrong. Personally I lead a fuller life as a result of Facebook. There's a great many things (e.g. underground music festivals) that are exclusively advertised via facebook these days.

      I don't actually post anything to Facebook, but like any service, you get out what you want from it.

    • by swell ( 195815 )

      Cute. You really think it's deleted? How trusting! Maybe you don't have access any more, but everyone else does.

      There is no deleting. Not only that but there is no shelter from FB. I have never had an account there but they still gather information about me from friends, business associates and family. I'd love to know what they've got on me but asking them would simply confirm that I exist and make their file look more valid.

      This is no different from the credit reporting agencies in the US that gather your

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:38AM (#56296665)

    WhatsApp Co-Founder Tells Everyone To Delete Facebook

    Friend of mine proudly told me one day that he deleted Facebook, but to my great disappointment, the next day I was still able to ping it.

    I hope someone manages it though.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:38AM (#56296669)
    But people who know they should #delete FB don't have FB in the first place.
  • So: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @09:41AM (#56296681) Homepage


    "We sold you all out to them years ago, including all your data, for money to become billionaires. Now we are telling you that you shouldn't ever give them your data and should delete your account with them immediately."

    Tell me a) why I should listen to you, b) how you think this makes you the hero?

    • by sinij ( 911942 )
      a) Even bad people can give you good advice

      b) Why are you framing this as an altruistic move? it could be the case that they now seek to make money from you by selling you means to partially restore your privacy.
      • by ledow ( 319597 )

        a) Yep, but there's this thing called "reputation".
        b) I'm not. But it's framed as such. "Look, even the Whatsapp guy says he wouldn't tolerate this and wouldn't have done it", where that's EXACTLY what he did, to every WhatsApp user.

        And you can't un-sell your data.

  • by LordHighExecutioner ( 4245243 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @10:11AM (#56296839)
    ?!? No Twitter account
    cat "#DeleteInternetAccess" >/dev/lpt
  • As people leave, it would be a good idea to create fake profiles.

    It would be a good idea for people to create a few fake profile and donate it to some activist group that can create a series of fake posts, fake news etc and dilute the value of the data anyone still using facebook.

  • He sold his soul to FB for $19B. That's an obscene amount of money so I certainly can't blame him. But don't come at us like you're the Pied Piper of privacy protection.
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Come on, he only got six and a half. He had a partner who had to get some. And a bit left over for all the little people.

    • There's only so much hookers and blow you can go though before you start missing your soul...
  • His net worth went from 6.6B to 5.5B [forbes.com] just this month. Sounds like he still held a good amount of FB stock, as you would expect. Wonder if he dumped it all to people buying the dip and is now able to speak freely (and also is a touch bitter from just having lost $1B over it).

  • with just a few edits:

    There is nothing wrong with your phone or computer. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. Sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear while building

  • When you create a facebook app, if you want to access user information such as date of birth or current location, you need to jump through hoops and even upload a video demonstrating how you will use the data.

    However, you automatically get access to the person's friends list, with no specific authorization required from Facebook. This is where much of the abuse is really taking place, and they need to change it.

  • New York Times' report about how the data of 50 million users had been unknowingly leaked and purchased to aid President Trump's successful 2016 bid for the presidency

    See, how Trump destroyed the innocent company? In 2012 Obama's campaign did the same thing with Facebook data about millions of users [thehill.com], and it was all fine — a testament to Obama's genius, in fact.

    Had Hillary won, Facebook would've been just peachy as well. Damn Trump!! #Impeach!!

  • by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @11:37AM (#56297331) Homepage
    Why is this even a story? It's the stated purpose of these companies to sell your information. Eric Schmidt even stated "Google isn't free, the cost is your information".
    It's simple, keep your personal information... personal.
    To all you sheep who purchased Alexa, google home, or Nest.... do you really believe these things are not sending your personal behavior out to be sold, scrutinized, and monetized...
    Do you know there's a HIPAA waiver you release when you accept the ELUA of FitBit or Apple smartwatch?
    Come one people... think.
  • " but Acton quit earlier this year to start his own foundation."

    It's the Second Foundation that counts.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @11:48AM (#56297409)
    It's taking longer than I expected for Facebook to go the way of MySpace, but it looks like it's finally going to happen. Remember, on Facebook, the product they are selling is your personal data! Google, on the other hand, is advertising supported.
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @12:01PM (#56297541) Homepage

    Lots of people (like me) hate FaceBook because of the business model. But we must understand that FaceBook is a useful service. So any discussion about #DeleteFacebook needs to propose an alternative. The problem is that, in order to get around the "advertiser pays" model, people must be willing to accept some other model. Possibilities are a pay service, or a service where you host the data yourself and control it. The latter has been the way the web worked for decades. My friends and I all had "home pages" on our "web sites." There have been alternatives before, like Diaspora [wikipedia.org] but none have gained critical mass. Oh wait look! Here's a list of them: Distributed social networking [wikipedia.org].

    At the risk of making this a rant: Internet users today seem to have no concept that "web sites" are anything other than things that corporations buy. Some of those nice corporations let you put stuff on those sites, either for a fee or in exchange for intrusive monitoring. That's not how the web works. I've had my own web site for 20 years, and it costs me about $5/month. This idea that we should have our email addresses all at sites that record, monitor, and sell our emails is preposterous. Back in 1998, many of us predicted that everyone would have their own server in their home that ran their web site. And there would be standard protocols for exchanging social information, running something like OwnCloud [owncloud.org]. I don't know why that model changed. Is the FaceBook backlash enough to get us back onto that model?

  • Nice to see the message of what Facebook has always been seeing the light of day despite selfish hypocrisy driving it.

    Also nice to see "social media" getting some love by lynch mobs they've had a hand in cultivating all these years.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @12:35PM (#56297837) Journal

    So, they used Facebook data to help Trump win, making facebook and its owner look like idiots at best and Trump/Russian supporters at worst, making the owner toxic to run himself.

    That has to be some kind of record in political efficiency.

    Anyway, follow the money. Someone is selling FB short.

  • by Rick Schumann ( 4662797 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2018 @12:53PM (#56297985) Journal
    ..and nothing of value was lost.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker