Facebook Made Him Rich. Now He Says Delete the Site

Brian Acton is co-founder of WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for $19B
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 3:20 AM CDT
WhatsApp Co-Founder Says It's Time to Delete Facebook
WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on a smartphone.   (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton made a fortune when the messaging app was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in 2014. Now he says it's time to dump the social media site. "It is time. #deletefacebook," Acton tweeted Tuesday as the Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal deepened. Acton remained with the company for years after it was acquired by Facebook, but he quit a few months ago to help launch the Signal Foundation, a nonprofit that offers an alternative to WhatsApp and plans to launch other privacy-focused apps, the Verge reports. Acton invested around $50 million of his own funds in the project.

Jan Koum, the other WhatsApp co-founder, stayed with the company and now sits on Facebook's board, CNBC notes. Acton, whose Facebook profile appears to have been deleted, didn't explain why he thinks people should delete their accounts, though Mashable reports that he's a "well-known advocate for privacy and encryption." The Telegraph reports that Facebook shares dropped another 2.5% on Tuesday. They dropped almost 7% on Monday amid allegations that Cambridge Analytica, a company employed by the Trump campaign, was able to access the data of 50 million Facebook users. (Mark Zuckerberg has remained silent, but other Facebook execs say it "wasn't a breach.")

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