The world’s most powerful social network is facing a huge backlash online following revelations of a major data breach that has sent its shares plummeting by almost $60bn.
Frustrated users started trending the hashtag #DeleteFacebook on Twitter Tuesday as a response to the scandal over Facebook user information that wound up in the hands of political advertisers without users’ consent. Whereas this Reddit post received 120,000 up-votes and over 7,000 comments in less than 24 hours.
The wave of ill-feeling comes in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
A whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, 28, revealed on March 17 how Cambridge Analytica had harvested 50 million Facebook profiles, the majority without consent, for use in political advertising. The secretive firm has been tied to clandestine tactics including the use of “honey traps” and propaganda campaigns, which it denies.
Facebook is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after personal data from more than 50 million users was allegedly used to help elect President Trump.
According to reports, the research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the data, violating a consent decree Facebook had signed in 2011. The consent decree requires the social media giant to notify users and receive explicit permission before sharing personal data beyond their specified privacy settings.
WhatsApp co-founder says it is time to delete Facebook
As the scandal continues, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton has also joined the movement. “It is time. #deletefacebook,” he wrote on Twitter.
It is time. #deletefacebook
— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Facebook security chief reportedly planning to leave
Facebook’s security chief Alex Stamos is leaving Facebook. But it is not due to latest backlash about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica; instead, the social network’s CSO is stepping down due to disagreements about how Facebook should have handled the spread of disinformation.
The New York Times reported that much of disagreement “is rooted in how much Facebook should publicly share about how nation states misused the platform and debate over organizational changes in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.”
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