Elon Musk just joined the #deletefacebook movement as he removed Tesla's and SpaceX's pages from the website. The two pages had a combined total of about 5 million 'likes'. Musk not-so-subtly announced his decision on Twitter by asking, "What's Facebook?" in response to a tweet calling to delete the social media platform.
Another Twitter user asked, "this should be deleted too, right?" with a picture of the Tesla Facebook page, to which Musk had a cheeky response.
Definitely. Looks lame anyway.-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 23, 2018
It might seem like an unusual move, but Musk is awesome for making that decision. Here's why:
Facebook has been under fire over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which gave away 50 million people's private data.
Musk is no stranger to such tactics. Last year, one of Tesla's cars was hacked by a Chinese tech giant. Hackers were able to turn on the brakes, open doors, and play music,
Last month, Tesla's Amazon cloud was hacked to mine cryptocurrency. The hacker remains unknown.
Plus, this isn't the first time Facebook has done something unethical to its users. Back in 2014, Facebook manipulated its users' news feed to show positive or negative content. Over 600,000 people were unwittingly part of a massive experiment. Tisk tisk, Zuck.
Less Social Media
In 2016, Motherboard blasted Musk for not following any women on Twitter.
I use twitter for news orgs. My Insta has same women as men. What's up with the phoney PC police axe-grinding?-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 4, 2016
(Note that Musk only follows 48 accounts. Six of them are real people such as his brother and ex-wife. The rest are news organizations.)
This brings up a good question: why should anyone care who a billionaire tech CEO is following on Twitter? Social media has brought a new age of pettiness and obsession. You can't log into any account without hearing about the latest pop-culture celebrity drama or Kardashian lipstick color or makeup line.
Additionally, excessive Facebook use is linked to depression as people often compare their seemingly boring lives to that of friends. It's a huge time-waster too. The average person will spent over five years of their life on social media, with Facebook being the second-biggest offender behind Pinterest.
All in all, removing a social toxin like that seems like it could be a good thing to me.
Continuing to Go Against the Grain
Most people wouldn't dream of deleting a business social media pages with 5 million aggregate followers. Then again, Musk isn't like most people.
Here's a guy that dropped out of Stanford, taught himself programming and rocket science, and, most recently, sold his own flamethrowers. He's most famous for trying to colonize Mars and his Hyperloop project aims to send people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a half hour.
Musk has always gone against the grain and done things that nobody else expects. That's what makes him unique and what is truly admirable. And that, my friends, is something we can all learn from him.