'Delete Facebook' hashtag trends as social users fume

The massive social platform appears to have lost control over user data, leading to a firestorm of red-hot #DeleteFacebook tweets.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Expertise Solar, solar storage, space, science, climate change, deregulated energy, DIY solar panels, DIY off-grid life projects. CNET's "Living off the Grid" series. https://www.cnet.com/feature/home/energy-and-utilities/living-off-the-grid/ Credentials
  • Finalist for the Nesta Tipping Point prize and a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Mack
2 min read

Fewer people may see your latest exploits via Facebook today than would have yesterday thanks to a trending hashtag: #DeleteFacebook.

The tag trended briefly on Twitter Tuesday as a response to the scandal over Facebook user information that wound up in the hands of political advertisers without users' consent. Another indication of momentum behind the sentiment is this Reddit post that's received 120,000 up-votes and over 7,000 comments in less than 24 hours.

The online anger stems from a complex story involving what seemed to be fun Facebook app, a firm named Cambridge Analytica, a pink-haired whistleblower named Christopher and the Trump campaign, among others. You can catch up with the help of my colleague Ian Sherr's handy primer on the whole sordid story in the video above.

Bottom line, though, is that Facebook may not have done such a hot job safeguarding our information over the past few years. No surprise, that's drawn the ire of social media users, including "Silicon Valley" actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani:

Serial entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis teased a plan to unveil a new social media platform:

MIT scholar and activist Ethan Zuckerman pointed out that many people, particularly in developing countries, now rely on Facebook as their primary form of connectivity, making simply deleting it not very practical:

UK-based comic Joe Heenan made his own argument, of sorts, for staying on the platform:

Comedian Sarah Cooper concurred:

Still others wondered why Facebook refugees felt any more comfortable venting on a different social platform.

Cybersecurity professionals like Rob May were in more of an "I told you so" sort of mood about the whole affair:

Even Brian Acton, the former head of WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014 for $19 billion, joined the bandwagon.

And of course there are those who claim they knew from the very beginning:

If this is a hashtag you can get behind, we're here to help you make that lifestyle change and do the Facebook purge.

First published March 20, 12:13 p.m. PT. 
Update, 1:50 p.m. PT: Adds more tweets tagged with #DeleteFacebook. 
Update, 4:38 p.m. PT: Adds tweet from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.