#DeleteFacebook: Elon Musk deletes SpaceX, Tesla Facebook pages

March 24, 2018

Verified Facebook pages of SpaceX and Tesla disappeared on Friday, minutes after Elon Musk responded to a comment on Twitter calling for him to take down his rocket company SpaceX, electric carmaker Tesla and his own official pages in support of the #DeleteFacebook movement.

'What's Facebook?' Musk on Friday morning sarcastically replied to a tweet from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton urging his followers to delete Facebook by tweeting 'It is time.'

Musk, CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Inc, replied to a comment on Twitter calling for him to take down the SpaceX, Tesla and Musk official pages in support of the #DeleteFacebook movement by saying 'I didn't realize there was one. Will do.'

Less than half an hour, the verified Facebook pages of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc are no longer accessible, Xinhua reported.

Combined, SpaceX and Tesla had more than 5 million followers.

Musk’s order follows Mozilla’s announcement Wednesday that it will no longer advertise on Facebook.

It’s the latest round of backlash for the social media giant’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Though Mozilla and Musk have taken decidedly anti-Facebook stands, it does not appear that many companies have deleted their Facebook Pages or stopped advertising with the social media giant.

Prior to the deletion, both the two pages had million of Likes and Follows, and super high engagement rates.

The boycott '#DeleteFacebook' started after the US and British media reported that the data of more than 50 million Facebook users were inappropriately used by a British data analysis company, Cambridge Analytica, in activities allegedly connected with US President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted on Wednesday that his company had made mistakes in a data leak that caused grave concern about user privacy possibly abused for political purposes.

The latest developments:

Facebook's Sandberg cites 'huge breach of trust'

Following are the Latest on reports that millions of Facebook users' data was used to target political ads (all times local):

Facebook's chief operating officer says the company is taking steps to be more transparent about how its data gets used - and misused - and apologized for the privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining company that has been swirling around the social media giant.

Facebook's No. 2 executive Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview on CNBC Thursday that the incident was a 'huge breach of trust.' She said she was sorry the company let so many people down.

The comments came a day after CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized during a CNN interview. And like Zuckerberg, Sandberg said she expected more regulation in Facebook's future.

The pressure to impose more controls on influential tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has been building as their services and infiltrate more and more into daily life.

'It's not a question of 'if' regulation it's a question of what type,' she said.

5 billion friendships

Two Facebook employees co-authored a 2015 study with embattled Cambridge researcher Aleksandr Kogan that used anonymized data that tallied 57 billion friendships around the world.

The study was hailed by Cambridge University as the first output of ongoing collaborations between Kogan's lab and Facebook. Facebook suspended Kogan last week for sharing data he gathered separately and passed on to data-mining company Cambridge Analytica, which is not affiliated with the university.

Facebook told The Guardian in a report Thursday that it provided the data in 2013 but that it contained no personally identifiable information. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The study also says Kogan used Amazon's Mechanical Turk to get U.S. respondents to download an app that gave him access to their Facebook data and the location of their friends.

Zuckerberg called to testify

The leaders of a key House committee are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about a privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining company.

Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon and Frank Pallone of New Jersey say in a statement the 'latest revelations regarding Facebook's use and security of user data raises many serious consumer protection concerns.' They say their staffs received a briefing yesterday from Facebook officials that left many questions unanswered.

Walden is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Pallone is the panel's top ranking Democrat.

Their statement comes a day after Zuckerberg told CNN that he would be 'happy' to testify before Congress.

The lawmakers say they'll work with Facebook and Zuckerberg to set a date and time 'in the near future.'

Connections scrutinised

Special counsel Robert Mueller is scrutinizing the connections between President Donald Trump's campaign and the data mining firm Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica has come under fierce criticism from U.S. and British lawmakers over reports it swiped the data of more than 50 million Facebook users to sway elections.

Mueller's investigators have asked former campaign officials about the Trump campaign's data operations, particularly how it collected and utilized voter data in battleground states.

That's according to a person with direct knowledge of the line of inquiry who isn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

When you give Cambridge Analytica $3m

A personal assistant to Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to reports of Cambridge Analytica's involvement in the country's 2015 election, retweeting an image of a dejected-looking former leader Goodluck Jonathan.

The post retweeted by Bashir Ahmad says: 'When you give Cambridge Analytica $3m and still lose the election.'

A report in The Guardian newspaper cites people with knowledge of the campaign as saying Cambridge Analytica's parent company was hired by a Nigerian billionaire to ensure Jonathan won another term.

The report cites the people with knowledge of the campaign as saying suspected Israeli hackers offered Cambridge Analytica access to Buhari's private information.

The report says the company has disputed those claims but confirmed it had been hired for marketing and advertising services to help Jonathan's campaign.

Fake news inquiry

The British Parliament's media committee has recalled the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, to testify in its investigation into fake news.

Committee chair Damian Collins told Nix in a letter Thursday that there were 'a number of inconsistencies in your evidence.'

Collins highlighted Nix's denial that he received data from the Global Science Research company, the entity set up by a Cambridge academic who created the app blamed for harvesting information from some 50 million Facebook accounts.

A whistleblower has alleged that Cambridge Analytica improperly used the material in US President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

Collins warned Nix that 'giving false statements to a select committee is a very serious matter. We urge you to come forward and explain your comments to a committee hearing.'