Brian Acton, the co-founder of messaging service WhatsApp (which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion), is now joining the chorus of the #deletefacebook movement.
A tipster alerted us to the fact that Acton made the same call… on Facebook… as well.
Since the sale of WhatsApp (which has made Acton an incredibly wealthy man), Acton has been actively financing more secure (and private) messaging platforms for users.
Acton has already used some of his WhatsApp wealth to give $50 million to the Signal Foundation.
While some may say it’s hypocritical to reap millions from Facebook and then call for users to jump ship, Acton has always had a penchant for supporting privacy. Back in its earliest days, WhatsApp’s stated goal was to never make money from ads:
Why we don’t sell ads
No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn’t). We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.
Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out… And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.
Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product. – June 18, 2012 — WhatsApp blog
It may be that this latest scandal was the straw that borked the camel’s back.
I’ve reached out to Acton for comment.