This week has been a rocky one for Facebook after the scandal involved with the British political consulting firm which allegedly extracted the data of 50 million users on Facebook for shady purposes. Following this revelation, many people took to Twitter to announce that they would quit using the social network with the #deleteFacebook which went viral. While many users decided to defend Facebook, it came as a shock that Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and SpaceX joins the bandwagon.
The entire show started after Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp coined the #deleteFacebook hashtag on Twitter. It began as a dare game on Twitter but resulted in the significant news. The day the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into the case of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, Mr. Acton tweeted, “it’s time to #deleteFacebook.” In response, Musk stated, “What’s Facebook?” It wasn’t sure if he was joking, but another tweeter decided to begin a truth and dare game.
The twitter user by the name @serdarsprofile challenged him.
“We’re waiting” Ryan Mac, a technology reporter retweeted with a screenshot of SpaceX Facebook page.
“This should be deleted too, right? Bryson Masse, another tech reporter, tweeted with a screenshot of Tesla Facebook page.
Many Twitter users must have guessed that he was merely trolling and to prove them wrong, in less than 24 hours after the challenge, many of Musk’s brands were no longer on Facebook. They included: SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity, and Hyperloop. The pages for the Boring Company and that for OpenAI were spared.
In the wake of this scandal, Elon Musk is one of the high-profile individuals to ditch Facebook publicly. However, this doesn’t come as a surprise because both entrepreneurs, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have a not-so-beautiful past. In September 2016, a Falcon 9 rocket exploded which destroyed an Israeli communication satellite which Facebook was supposed to use to provide parts of Sub-Saharan Africa with internet coverage. The Facebook boss blamed the destruction on the spaceflight company. He said in his Facebook post at the time:
“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.”
At the moment, SpaceX is still available on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Musk says he’s okay with Instagram as long as it operates independently.