While speaking at Stanford University, Brain Actor, the co-founder of WhatsApp, told students to delete their Facebook accounts. Mr. Acton has been quite vocal in the past while speaking about the need to disengage with this social media platform. His issues with the same stem from the fact that the platform prioritizes monetization over user privacy, a concern that has been an ongoing one in the last few years. While more and more people are waking up to the evils of consumer data collection, fewer people have taken any concrete actions to distance themselves from those who do collect this data.
Brian Acton was conducting a class at Standford University called Computer Science 181, along with a former Facebook employee and founder of She++, Ellora Israni. During the undergraduate class, he talked about how he made Whatsapp what it is today as well as the final decision to sell the platform to Facebook. While talking about the same, he also spoke about why he left Facebook on learning the way the social platform continually prioritizes monetization over consumer satisfaction and privacy. He spoke about how he disagreed with the same, and how he finally decided to leave Facebook.
During the same lecture, he urged the students to delete Facebook, as it continues to mine data and violate privacy, according to him. While talking about the same, he also talked about how other companies like Apple and Google have been struggling over the years to moderate their total content. He talked about how these companies have not been entirely successful at doing the same. He said “These companies are not equipped to make these decisions,” He continued to elaborate on the matter. “And we give them the power. That’s the bad part. We buy their products. We sign up for these websites. Delete Facebook, right?”
Brian Acton has been quite vocal about his disdain for Facebook and frequently urges people to delete the social media platform.
The Cambridge Analytica Controversy
The issue of Facebook’s rampant data mining came into light with the Cambridge Analytica Controversy in 2018. After Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on the organization, it was revealed that various political parties used consumer data harvested by Facebook to offer tailored content designed to manipulate the consumer’s votes in the favour of Donald Trump. The same practice has been occurring in India as well, and this led to Facebook being scrutinized quite extensively.
Facebook has not been able to gain consumer trust back since the scandal erupted. Many people advocate for consumers to delete this social media app as it mines pertinent consumer data and then sells it to marketers and others.