There has been a huge fallout since this news broke, with many people worried about what Facebook does with people’s information. A new hashtag, #deletefacebook has started trending since this story has become public.
One of the people behind this movement is Whatsapp’s co-founder Brian Acton. “It is time,” Acton wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtag #deletefacebook. Acton, along with his colleague Jan Koum, sold Whatsapp to Facebook back in 2014 for $16 billion. Having only stepped down from his position as a Facebook executive earlier this year, he has since invested $50 million into an app called signal, an alternative to Whatsapp.
Acton could be seeing this as an opportunity to further bring down Facebooks brand and push his own messaging service to rival Whatsapp. Then again, maybe he is just trying to make more people aware of the way that Facebook handles its user’s personal information.
Acton isn’t the only ex-Facebook executive to speak up against the company’s questionable usage of information. Last year, former head of growth Chamath Palihapitiya (good luck pronouncing that) caused trouble by saying “we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
That is a huge statement to make against a massive multinational company like Facebook, yet it is kind of true. We have become so dependent on Facebook and other social media that it is affecting how we communicate with each other. Whenever you walk into a room with a group of teenagers or young adults, there will almost certainly be more than a few who are glued to their phone screen,more interested in other people’s holiday pictures than what is going on around them.
Facebook is basically a data collection service disguised as a fun website where you can connect with friends. Like any other business, they are trying to sell you their brand. It is actively giving away information to companies to try and market whatever they are selling.
Ironically, this article will probably be shared on Facebook, which is also an indicator of how the media is now dependent on the social media platform. It has become much more than that since its inception in 2004 though. It is one of the main places people get there news. It is also one of the cheaper and easier ways to get a message to a wide audience very quickly.
We have resigned to that mentality of ‘well that is just where technology is taking us’, but after this news, I believe we should take a step back and think about what these technological advances do to us as human beings. So Maybe #deletefacebook will be a success and millions of people will stop using the platform. Peoples mindset about social media usage could change as well, but to be honest, I wouldn’t hold your breath.