Is Facebook Dying?


Elon Musk is over Facebook. Earlier today, he deleted the Facebook pages for his companies SpaceX and Tesla in the wake of public backlash against the social media company this week over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. And it’s a really bad sign for Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

SpaceX had over 2.6 million likes on Facebook and Tesla had over 2.4 million likes. Both the companies have become staples of technological innovation, and Musk’s antics have made company updates much more entertaining than your average business page. Other Musk ventures, such as SolarCity, also deleted their Facebook Pages. Combined, SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity had more than 6 million followers.

Musk’s decision follows Mozilla’s announcement that it has ceased advertising on Facebook. However, it does not appear that many other companies have deleted their Facebook Pages or stopped advertising with the social media giant.

A Facebook page for Tesla Motors still appears to be active, and what appears to be Musk’s personal page is also live. And that might be one of the downsides of deleting your official Facebook presence:

Unofficial and fake pages can spring up pretty quickly.

But what started all this? Around 11:45am Eastern time Musk replied to a tweet about deleting Facebook in his signature sarcastic style:

By 12:20pm, the Facebook page for SpaceX was down.

“Looks lame anyway,” Musk tweeted when asked if he’d be taking down the Tesla page as well. Tesla’s Facebook page was deleted shortly after that.

It’s unclear if the move will be permanent. When someone called out Musk for trolling, he replied with more light-hearted sarcasm.

Since the scope of Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of personal data was made public, WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton has repeatedly called for people to delete their Facebook accounts, and Google’s François Chollet, insisted that AI practitioners should not work for Facebook.

In response to these scathing remarks, Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook significantly damaged its users’ trust, and Facebook has since introduced a series of updated to its app platform, including plans to audit apps that were given access to large amounts of user data.

It’s been a really bad week for Facebook all around. But a social maven like Musk leaving the platform is quite possibly a dismal sign if you’re Mark Zuckerberg—or at least a sign of things to come. Elon Musk’s large social media presence has allowed him to share everything from rocket launch videos to photos of his pet snail Gary. If Musk doesn’t feel like he needs Facebook anymore, others could easily follow suit.