In the light of the most recent controversy to hit the company, Facebook has been called a mass surveillance firm which has no concern for user privacy. With Cambridge Analytica using Facebook data of over 50 million users to swing elections and spread fake news campaigns, the world’s largest social network is facing a huge backlash.
The mass user outrage against Facebook’s lax attitude to privacy has now evolved into an online movement called ‘DeleteFacebook‘. Ever since the whistleblower revealed details of Cambridge Analytica’s illicit data gathering, infuriated users have been spitting vitriol against the social media giant by using the #DeleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter. Along with that hashtag, some people are also asking Mark Zuckerberg to break his silence over this with #WheresZuck.
Some users have used the hashtag to remind Facebook of its duty to protect their data, while others are advising fellow victims to outright deactivate their accounts if they value their privacy. Here are a few notable tweets:
Facebook knew about this data breach for 2 years and only chose to do something about it when the story broke to the public now. Time to take some actual ownership of your screw ups. #DeleteFacebook
— Christopher Logan (@chr1sl0gan) March 20, 2018
That's that. I haven't been using it much lately since removing the apps. This latest set of revelations, which I suspected anyway, is the final push. #DeleteFacebook
— Jason Scott (@jlscott_77) March 20, 2018
As we needed one more reason… already left! #DeleteFacebook
— CarolineA (@carolinebha2) March 20, 2018
Even if half of what this whistleblower is saying is true, it's scary. Very scary. And leads me to question the real reason why the FB algorithm changed early this year to favour individual posts rather than publisher and brands?https://t.co/BJqLWCS2xo #WheresZuck #DeleteFacebook
— Simon Knapp (@simonknapp) March 20, 2018
Numerous users have posted screenshots of their Facebook account deactivation screen to encourage others and do the same.
— Tim ® (@gun_rx0) March 10, 2018
Anyone else been on the fence about deleting their Liberal/Dem colluding data mining #Facebook account?
Let's cancel our accounts today and send Zuck's stock down where it should be in the ash heap.
Anyone with me?#DeleteFacebook pic.twitter.com/S2m9gUSQmo
— McQ (@cultcommoncore) March 19, 2018
— Rosemary Lewis (@JaRoJo1021) March 17, 2018
But amidst the profile deletion frenzy, some users have reported that the delete profile page is returning an error for them. (A server-side attempt to retain users, perhaps?)
Is anyone else having issues with the delete profile page on Facebook? It is throwing errors for me. I am not surprised #deletefacebook
— Mark Focas (@markfocas) March 20, 2018
Users have called out Zuckerberg as well as Cambridge Analytica for allegedly misusing data of millions of users for making strategies to support Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign, as well as others around the world, including in India. Others pointed to the billions of dollars Facebook is set to lose in market value after the company’s stocks plummeted in the wake of the controversy.
— DHH (@dhh) March 20, 2018
— JSW (@_J_SW) March 19, 2018
#DeleteFacebook has already become a top trending hashtag in some regions, which certainly says something about the intensity of the mass reaction generated by the fiasco. Plummeting stocks, worsening reputation and the spread of fake news are among the many controversies Facebook is mired in right now, and it now remains to be seen how Mark Zuckerberg & Co. recover and win back users’ trust.