Due in large part to personal information being harvested through Facebook to the data collection company Cambridge Analytica, scores of users are leaving the social media site through a #DeleteFacebook movement.
Celebrities are joining in the call to action as well, explaining to their fans that they can no longer be involved with Facebook because of their inaction on breaches in users’ data.
Jim Carrey was one of the earliest proponents of the movement. In February, he sold his stock holdings in Facebook and deleted his account, advising his fans to do the same due to the company earning income from Russia interference in our elections.
“For a long time America enjoyed a geographical advantage in the world with oceans on both sides to protect it,” Carrey said. “Now, social media has created cyber-bridges over which those who do not have our best interest in mind can cross and we are allowing it. No wall is going to protect us from that.”
Comedic actor Will Ferrell also dropped from the site, telling his fans in a post that stayed active for 72 hours (allowing people to read it before he officially deleted his account) that he couldn’t support the social media site after the Cambridge Analytica news. “I can no longer, in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable,” he wrote.
Some famous individuals made startling revelations of their own. Elon Musk, for example, deleted the Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages after telling fans he wasn’t even aware that those pages existed in the first place.
I didn’t realize there was one. Will do.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2018
Musk wasn't the only individual from the tech industry to delete his account either. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also announced his decision to leave Facebook. In justifying his choice, Wozniak juxtaposed differences between his company and the social media site. "Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you," he said said. "As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."
Iconic singer Cher also removed her Facebook account, writing in a Twitter post her reasons for doing so, and explaining that her decision for doing so was difficult but necessary.
2day I did something VERY HARD 4 me.Facebook has helped me with my Charity, &there are amazing young Ppl there.I have a special friend (Lauren)who I Respect & Admire,but today I deleted my Facebook account .— Cher (@cher) March 21, 2018
I Love My????????.
I Believe....There are Things MORE”IMPORTANT”THAN????
In addition to celebrities, some well-known companies are also taking the leap away from Facebook. Mozilla, Pep Boys, Playboy, and Sonos have all announced they’re deleting their accounts.
Cambridge Analytica was contracted out by President Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign season to help his team with data collection and other related tasks. So some aspects of the #DeleteFacebook movement may be based on political motivations.
Yet for the most part, the breach of personal information seems to be the larger issue triggering the movement. Many have already made the decision to delete their own accounts, and the pattern will likely continue in the weeks ahead — especially if more celebrities decide to take a stand against the social media giant for what was an egregious violation of trust.