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Messaging app Viber cuts all ties with Facebook

The company is crying foul over Facebook's mismanagement of user data, and calls the spread of hate speech on the platform "the last straw."

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- 01:19
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Sarah Tew/CNET

Viber, a messaging app with over 1 billion users, is cutting all ties with Facebook, the company said Thursday. According to Viber, the decision comes in the wake of "Facebook's data violations and failure to combat violent rhetoric."

Effective immediately, the messaging app will cease all ad spending on the social networking platform, and it plans to remove Facebook Connect, Facebook SDK, and Giphy from the app by the start of July.

"Facebook continues to demonstrate poor judgment in understanding its role in today's world," said Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua. "From the company's mishandling of data and lack of privacy in its apps, to its outrageous stand of avoiding the steps necessary to protect the public from violent and dangerous rhetoric, Facebook has gone too far. We are not the arbiters of truth, but the truth is some people are suffering from the proliferation of violent content and companies must take a clear stand."

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Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua.

Viber

Viber's announcement points to Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal as a major cause for concern, and calls the platform's inability to curb the spread of hate speech following the killing of George Floyd "the last straw."

Viber, owned by Japanese multinational company Rakuten, says it hopes its decision serves to "level up" the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP's #StopHateForProfit movement, which calls on Facebook's advertisers to pause ad spending during the month of July in light of the proliferation of hate speech on the platform.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.