- WhatsApp founder Brian Acton tweeted: ‘It is time. #deletefacebook’
- Hashtag trended amid outrage over links to data firm Cambridge Analytica
- Acton sold the app to Facebook for $19 billion (£11.4 billion) in 2014
- Acton was at WhatsApp for several years before leaving to start the Signal Foundation earlier this year
Mark Zuckerberg may have helped make him a billionaire, but that hasn’t stopped Brian Acton from turning against Facebook.
The co-founder of Whatsapp has taken to Twitter to urge everyone to delete their Facebook profiles tweeting: ‘It is time. #deletefacebook’.
It takes 90 days for a user’s data to be wiped from the site after deleting it.
The hashtag has been trending amid outrage over Facebook’s links to controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica and its handling of personal data.
Acton sold Whatsapp to Facebook for $19 billion (£11.4 billion) in 2014 – the largest deal in Facebook’s history.
The Californian-based entrepreneur’s apparent advocacy for people to remove their profiles comes as Facebook faces pressure to explain its privacy safeguards to regulators and politicians in the US and UK
Cambridge Analytica (CA) was suspended from Facebook last week after it emerged that data on 50 million users had not been destroyed as agreed.
Facebook’s stock has fallen by 10 per cent since and the deletefacebook hashtag has been trending among users.
Acton was at WhatsApp for several years before leaving to start the Signal Foundation earlier this year.
He applied for a job at Facebook in 2009 but got rejected.
‘Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure’, he tweeted at the time.
According to Forbes, Acton held over 20 per cent stake in the company when it was sold, making him worth around $3.8 billion (£2.7 billion).
Now the company is one of the biggest mobile messaging apps with 1.3 billion active monthly users.
Acton is now believed to be worth $5.5 billion (£3.9 billion).
The WhatsApp founder has around 21,000 followers on Twitter and it is not clear if he still has an account on Facebook.
Earlier this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was called on to explain the company’s data protection procedures to MPs in person.
Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee wrote to Mr Zuckerberg on Tuesday requesting that the firm explains the ‘catastrophic’ failure.
The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that CA had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump.
On Monday, Downing Street released a statement calling the Facebook breach ‘very concerning’, while MPs in the House of Commons voiced their concerns over interference in democracy.
Twenty-four hours later, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who is investigating the use of personal data for political campaigns, confirmed she was seeking a warrant to access CA’s systems after the firm failed to respond to an earlier demand.