Elon Musk deletes Facebook accounts for Tesla and SpaceX

Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk has deleted the official Facebook pages of his companies, joining a growing movement to boycott the social media giant.

A push has gained momentum this week for users to leave the social media service, after the fiasco surrounding Cambridge Analytica and the company’s use of personal data came to light.

Facebook is facing new scrutiny from the British Parliament, a probe from the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. and more than one shareholder lawsuit for its role in the saga, and the consumer-driven push to hit the company where it hurts got some high-profile allies late in the week.

Brian Acton, co-founder of messaging system WhatsApp — which was acquired by Facebook four years ago for $ 19 billion US — has been one of the leading advocates for the movement to boycott the social network, and Musk began jovially interacting with him on Twitter this week. 

When pushed by users to get his space travel company SpaceX off the site, Musk said he would.

Emboldened, Musk’s followers then asked him to delete Tesla’s official Facebook page too, which he then did.

Musk is now facing calls to remove his presence from Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, but has so far not done that.

“Instagram’s probably OK … so long as it stays fairly independent,” Musk responded to one person requesting he leave that platform too.

“I don’t use FB & never have, so don’t think I’m some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow. Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so … don’t care.”

Musk has had run-ins with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg in the past. Last year, a war of words broke out between Musk and Zuckerberg over whether robots will become smart enough to kill their human creators.

When Zuckerberg was asked about Musk’s views on the dangers of robots, he chided “naysayers” whose “doomsday scenarios” were “irresponsible.”

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CBC | World News