Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton has warned people to boycott Facebook days after the social network became embroiled in one of world's biggest data security scandals.
In a Twitter post, he urged Facebook users to delete their accounts, following reports that marketing firm Cambridge Analytica had gained unauthorised access to 50 million user profiles.
He tweeted: "It is time #deletefacebook", and the hashtag has since gone viral, with millions of people voicing concern about Facebook's connections to Cambridge Analytica.
It is time. #deletefacebook— Brian Acton (@brianacton) March 20, 2018
Four years ago, Facebook acquired instant messaging service Whatsapp for a sum of $19bn (£11.4bn), which is one of the largest tech firm buyouts in history.
Acton became a billionaire off the back of the sale, although his relationship with Facebook goes further than it. He actually applied for a role at the firm in 2009, but got rejected.
At the time, he said: "Facebook turned me down. It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life's next adventure."
Even before the Cambridge Analytica debacle surfaced this week, Facebook has been criticized for mishandling personal information. The US and UK governments have already stopped the firm from harvesting WhatsApp data.
It is believed that Cambridge Analytica tapped into millions of Facebook accounts to sway political decisions. On Monday, Channel 4 News aired footage of the firm's boss bragging that it could bribe politicians.
Facebook has not only faced criticism from governments, regulators and consumers across globe, but its stack has also plummeted by 10 per cent.
Pressure is mounting on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to stand before politicians and explain the company's position in the crisis.
On Tuesday, Damian Collins, who chairs the UK's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, penned a letter to Zuckerberg asking for answers.
He told Zuckerberg that it was "time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process".
The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, is also seeking an "urgent" warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's London headquarters for clues.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for Denham said her office is looking to "obtain information and access to systems and evidence related to her investigation".
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