Facebook’s PR nightmare is not getting over any time soon it seems. Full-page newspaper ads in UK over the Cambridge Analytica scandal notwithstanding, privacy concerns and the political fallout of the row seems to be only growing. Actor-Director Farhan Akhtar has become the latest celebrity to quit the social network in the wake of the Facebook data breach row. Though he hasn’t shared the exact reason for the move, that it follows a series of similar avowals by famous folk like Elon Musk, Cher and Jim Carrey hints it might be due to the heightened sensitivity over abuse of personal data.
“Good morning. This is to inform you all that I have permanently deleted my personal Facebook account. However, the verified FarhanAkhtarLive page is still active,” the 44-year-old movie star tweeted on Monday morning.
Good morning. This is to inform you all that I have permanently deleted my personal Facebook account.
However, the verified FarhanAkhtarLive page is still active.
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) March 27, 2018
As the #DeleteFacebook movement gathered steam, prominent people joined the league of celebrities who have quit the social media platform.
In a bunch of Twitter messages last week, Mr Musk said he would delete SpaceX’s Facebook page, as well as the one for his electric car company Tesla. As promised, he and the social media teams for those companies have followed through.
“What’s Facebook?” Mr Musk wrote in reply to Brian Acton, the cofounder of WhatsApp, currently owned by Facebook. Mr Acton popularised the hashtag #deleteFacebook last Tuesday in response to reports in The New York Times and The Guardian that a shady British consultancy called Cambridge Analytica had acquired the personal data of 50 million Facebook users without their consent and used it for Donald Trump’s US Presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum (and possibly other things).
Singer Cher also removed her Facebook page on the same day.
Jim Carrey abandoned the platform last month, tweeting, “I’m dumping my @facebook stock and deleting my page because @facebook profited from Russian interference in our elections and they’re still not doing enough to stop it.”
Among others who have quit social media – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter over the years are singer Adele, singer Ed Sheeran, rapper Kanye West, actor Emma Stone, model Kendall Jenner, singers Rihanna and Demi Lovato, Star Wars star Daisy Ridley and even pop singer Justin Bieber.