Monday, March 26, 2018 by Ethan Huff
Social media giant Facebook is rapidly losing popularity following the news that the company allowed a political consulting firm known as Cambridge Analytica to harvest and misuse data collected from Facebook’s 50 million users. And spurring things along is Tesla founder Elon Musk, who recently announced on Twitter that he’s done with Facebook forever.
Not only did Musk, who also serves as CEO of SpaceX, delete his personal Facebook account as part of the growing “#deletefacebook” trend, but he also scrapped the corporate Facebook accounts of both SpaceX and Tesla. Like many, Musk has expressed outrage over Facebook’s scheming with Cambridge Analytica, announcing that he’s done contributing to a company that would betray its users like this.
The announcement began with a barrage of tweets, in which Musk criticized several companies, including wireless speaker corporation Sonos, for continuing to do business with Facebook. Though Sonos had ceased publishing advertisements to Facebook for about a week following the Cambridge Analytica news, Musk was quick to criticize the company for its feigned outrage over the situation, which was really more of a ploy than anything else.
“Wow, a whole week. Risky,” Musk joked in a tweet.
Not even two minutes later, Musk also responded to a tweet by Brian Acton, the founder of WhatsApp, a messaging service that was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion a few years back. Like Musk, Acton made the decision to delete his Facebook account, and has called on others to join in as part of the #deletefacebook trend.
“What’s Facebook?” Musk jokingly responded to Acton’s tweet, after which Musk immediately announced that both the SpaceX and Tesla Facebook pages would be shut down. Commenting on the latter company’s page, Musk stated that it “looks lame anyway.”
The firestorm of tweets by Musk is simply an extension of his ongoing public feud with Mark Zuckerberg. Musk and Zuckerberg don’t see eye to eye on very much anymore, as Musk is largely skeptical of new technologies that Zuckerberg believes are the future of human existence. One of these technologies is artificial intelligence, or AI, which Musk has repeatedly warned represents a serious threat to humanity.
Back in the fall, Musk warned that there’s a 95 percent chance that AI robots will exterminate humanity, or at the very least turn people into “house cats” that are under their complete control.
Zuckerberg, on the other hand, wants to dive headlong into the deep end of the pool when it comes to humanity’s embrace of AI technologies. He believes that people like Musk who have concerns about AI are “naysayers,” and that they’re spreading “negativity” on the technological front.
“With AI especially, I’m really optimistic,” Zuckerberg stated during a Facebook Live broadcast that aired back in 2017. “People who are naysayers and kind of try to drum up these doomsday scenarios – I just, I don’t understand it. I think it’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.”
In response, Musk stated that he’s previously talked to Zuckerberg about this issue and that Zuckerberg’s understanding of the subject “is limited.” Zuckerberg also criticized Musk after the failed launch of the Facebook-affiliated satellite Amos-6, which was supposed to be launched by SpaceX into outer space back in 2016.
“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,” Zuckerberg wrote in a statement following the failed launch, blaming Musk’s company for the debacle.
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