In the wake of Facebook’s “data breach” controversy with Cambridge Analytica, Elon Musk has decided to take a stand against the company by deleting his companies’ Facebook presence.
Change is coming to the Internet, and it won’t look like anything we can expect.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Facebook suffered from a “data breach” that made the personal data available to firms like Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that provides services to political campaigns and businesses seeking to target specific demographics on the social media platform.
As reports of Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Trump’s presidential campaign hit the web, so too did older reports that Facebook had provided the same data to the Obama campaign in 2012, and to countless app developers. Savvier tech reporters gathered that the so-called “data breach” was anything but.
Motherboard’s Jason Koebler explains that thousands of third-party apps were designed to harvest personal data, some of which ended up being sold back to Facebook, which established partnerships with data brokers similar to Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook’s business practices flew in the face of promises made by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who told the BBC in 2009 that the company would never sell user information.
"This is their information. They own it"
"And you won’t sell it?"
"No! Of course not."
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, talking to the BBC in 2009. pic.twitter.com/mVrhp0TpIS
— BBC Business (@BBCBusiness) March 20, 2018
These revelations prompted many users, angered by Facebook’s duplicity, to cause #DeleteFacebook to trend on Twitter.
On Friday morning, Tesla and SpaceX creator Elon Musk joined the protest, quipping that he didn’t know what Facebook was at first, adding that he was deleting SpaceX’s page because he “didn’t even realize there was one.” He followed it up with a tweet about how Tesla’s Facebook page “looks lame anyway.”
Since deleting both pages, Musk noted that his companies’ Instagram accounts would remain live, at least for the time being. Instagram is owned by Facebook but operates independently of its parent company.
Instagram’s probably ok imo, so long as it stays fairly independent. I don’t use FB & never have, so don’t think I’m some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow. Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so … don’t care.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2018
Prior to Elon Musk’s participation, Zuckerberg told the New York Times that he did not expect the #DeleteFacebook campaign to have any real impact on his company, but admitted that the campaign was “not good” for his company.
Perhaps Musk’s involvement in the boycott will make it much more than just a passing trend.
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