Following viral thread #DeletFacebook and other issues relating to Data sharing between Facebook and Cambridge Analytical, WhatsApp co-funder Brian Acton has offered exclusive interview to journalist. Late last year, the co-founders of Whatsapp left Facebook, saying little at the time — but then, in the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Brian Acton, one of the founders, tweeted “It is time. #DeleteFacebook.”
Acton has said little in public since, but in a long, revealing interview with Forbes’s Parmy Olson, he frankly discusses the bad decision he made to trade his vision for the company he’d built for billions, and how he should have understood that Facebook would never keep its promises to preserve Whatsapp’s autonomy and privacy protections. He also reveals that when he left the company, he declined an offere of $850,000,000 in unvested stock in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement that would have kept him from discussing any of this.
The interview is a revealing look at the internal culture of Facebook, particularly how the company’s senior management kids itself — and the employees — that taking actions that make its products simultaneously worse and more profitable is actually good for the company’s users.