WhatsApp co-founder, who sold to Facebook, says time to delete

Brian Acton, who co-founded WhatsApp and sold it to Facebook for $19 billion, sent out a short tweet in which he said, "It is time."

Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr

Brian Acton in 2014, before he joined #deletefacebook.

Paul Sakuma

Of all the people who have turned on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, this may be the biggest yet.

Brian Acton, co-founder of the internationally popular WhatsApp messaging service, sent out a tweet from his unverified Twitter account late Tuesday telling people "It is time. #deletefacebook." 

Earlier in the day, the #DeleteFacebook hashtag trended in the wake of accounts that Facebook user information landed in political advertisers' hands without the consent of users.

Acton's tweet is a notable move considering he sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014 and worked there until late last year. WhatsApp was founded in 2009.

Facebook has come under increasing fire for mishandling its user data. A series of reports in The New York Times, Observer and UK's Channel 4 said University of Cambridge lecturer Aleksandr Kogan and a political data analytics firm called Cambridge Analytica worked together to leak information on more than 50 million user profiles from Facebook. Facebook learned of the effort in 2015, but didn't discuss it publicly until last Friday.

Since then, the company has faced criticism on all fronts, particularly for Zuckerberg's noted silencedefensive tweets by executives and legal threats toward the Guardian.

Both Acton and Facebook declined to comment.

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