Even Westworld creators are deleting Facebook

At the Tribeca Film Festival, Jonathan Nolan compares Facebook to Cuba's authoritarian regime under Fidel Castro, and Lisa Joy says she's canceled her account.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Westworld's second season makes its robots even creepier. 

John P. Johnson/HBO

As the creators of HBO's Westworld, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan live and breathe tech dystopia. 

But Facebook is too much even for them. 

Joy said she's canceled her Facebook account, speaking on the red carpet Thursday night ahead of the premiere screening of the second season opener episode of Westworld.

Nolan, her husband, compared Facebook's collection of data to suppression efforts under the Castro regime in Cuba, during a discussion on stage following the screening. 

"Raul Castro spent 20 years figuring out how to mine informal social networks, because informal social networks are the greatest weapon against authoritarian regimes," Nolan said. "It took us five years to volunteer that information to a college dropout who then gave it away to the fucking Russians."

Watch this: Westworld stars talk tech

Facebook has been reckoning with spiraling scandals related to how it and partners use the trove of data the company collects on its users, as well as how bad actors can exploit Facebook for mass manipulation. Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy hired by the Trump presidential campaign, improperly mined personal details from millions of Facebook users without people's permission, and Facebook has been grilled over how Russia-linked Internet Research agency used its massive platform to manipulate foreign electorates. 

All this has led to a trending hashtag: #DeleteFacebook. 

In the second season of the Westworld, Delos -- the company that owns the Westworld park -- is suggested to have broad intentions for the data it learns about guests interactions in the park. 

"I would hasten to point out that any similarities to any social media companies that may or may not be photocopying our fucking brains, may or may not be coincidental," Nolan said.

Facebook didn't immediately reply to our request for comment. But in recent weeks it's updated its data policy and CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology and testified to Congress about what he acknowledged were the company's failures.

Westworld season 2 images: New episode three photos

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