Delete Facebook: Celebrities, companies severing ties over privacy concerns
A growing number of familiar faces and companies are choosing to delete Facebook or cease advertising on the digital platform amid reports that the social media giant allowed a British firm to illicitly collect personal data from millions of Americans.
Facebook shares plunged in recent days after reports that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm that worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, harvested data from more than 50 million users without their consent. The revelation prompted an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission into Facebook’s privacy practices.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO, admitted the company made mistakes for the data breach in a post and said the company was taking steps to prevent similar mishaps in the future. Sheryl Sandberg, the company's COO, also expressed regret in her own post.
Zuckerberg has also agreed to testify before Congress regarding Facebook’s role in the scandal, according to multiple reports.
While Zuckerberg has vowed to fix Facebook’s vulnerabilities, some prominent users aren’t waiting for the social platform to reform. FOX Business breaks down some of the notable figures severing ties with Facebook.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur deleted company Facebook pages for two of the companies he founded: SpaceX and Tesla. Musk added in a series of tweets that none of his companies have ever advertised on Facebook or any other platform.
“It’s not a political statement and I didn’t do this because someone dared me to do it,” Musk wrote. “Just don’t like Facebook. Gives me the willies. Sorry.”
The 71-year-old singer and actress said she deleted Facebook on March 20, days after the Cambridge Analytica story broke. Cher also criticized Zuckerberg for initially breaking his silence in a Facebook post, rather than in a public appearance.
Cooper Hefner, Playboy’s chief creative officer and son of the late Hugh Hefner, said in a statement posted to his Twitter account that the magazine was leaving Facebook over “content guidelines and corporate policies [that] continue contradicting our values.”
In an ironic twist, the popular actor and comedian wrote on Facebook that he would be leaving the platform within 72 hours “in order to give this message enough time to get across to my fans and followers.”
Ferrell said he was “very disturbed” to learn of Cambridge Analytica’s improper use of user data.
The web browser suspended advertising on Facebook and said it would only consider returning to the platform if Zuckerberg makes good on his promise to strengthen privacy settings. The company also introduced a plug-in that allows Mozilla Firefox users to restrict Facebook’s access to their personal data.
The auto parts retailer pulled its advertising from Facebook amid concerns related to the data breach.
“We are concerned about the issues surrounding Facebook and have decided to suspend all media on the platform until the facts are out and corrective actions have been taken,” Pep Boys chief marketing officer Danielle Porto Mohn said in a statement to Reuters.
New Zealand's privacy commissioner
John Edwards, the head of New Zealand's privacy commission, wrote in a post that he deleted his Facebook page after determining that the social media platform's policies were in violation of the New Zealand Privacy Act. Edwards said Facebook failed to provide a New Zealand user with information on the data it held from his account, adding that New Zealand's 2.5 million users could choose to delete their Facebook pages until the company complies with the law.
“Every New Zealander has the right to find out what information an agency holds about them. It is a right of constitutional significance,” Edwards wrote. “Facebook failed to meet its obligations under the Privacy Act, and when given a statutory demand from my office to produce the information at issue so that I could discharge my statutory duty to the requester to review it, Facebook initially refused to provide it, and then asserted that Facebook was not subject to the New Zealand Privacy Act, and was therefore under no obligation to provide it.”