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WhatsApp cofounder and Facebook-made billionaire tells people to delete Facebook

Updated Mar 21st, 2018 6:58AM EDT
Delete Facebook Brian Acton
Image: Gombert/Epa/REX/Shutterstock

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The most important thing happening in tech right now is Facebook. The revelations coming from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie have been quite damaging for the world’s largest social network. Facebook is facing formal investigations in the US and Europe, the stock is plummeting, and Mark Zuckerberg is in hiding.

On top of that, there’s a #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter that keeps trending, as more people delete their Facebook accounts in response to the huge user privacy breach exposed by Wylie. Brian Acton, WhatsApp co-founder, Facebook-made billionaire, and now Signal investor, is also supporting the move to delete Facebook.

We’ve already shown you how to delete or deactivate your Facebook account but leaving Facebook for good, however, seems easier said than done. That’s why we’ve also shown you how to reduce the data you share on Facebook and Facebook apps.

For Acton, however, it’s time to leave Facebook. He posted a brief message on Twitter in support of the movement.

Acton left Yahoo before he co-founded WhatsApp in 2009. Facebook a few years ago acquired the popular chat app in a deal worth north of $19 billion. As a result, Acton himself became a billionaire and only terminated his WhatsApp employment last fall.

Acton recently made the news for investing $50 million of his own money into Signal, the encrypted chat app whose technology is also used in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps who offer end-to-end encryption.

While Acton’s stance on Facebook is definitely notable in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s also somewhat hypocritical. Acton’s WhatsApp promised to never share data with Facebook once the purchase was complete. But that turned out to be a lie, Facebook does want WhatsApp user data and went for it soon after the acquisition was done, prompting a series of investigations on the matter. Acton was still at the company when all that happened.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.