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WhatsApp co-founder urges people to delete Facebook

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SAN FRANCISCO — WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton on Tuesday has urged people to delete their Facebook accounts on the giant social network, USA Today reported.

WhatsApp, which Facebook bought in 2014, declined to comment.

Acton , who quit Facebook earlier this year to start a foundation, twitted : “It’s time,” with #DeleteFacebook.

His remark comes amid growing public outrage over the misuse of the private information of tens of millions Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, the firm that claimed it helped Donald Trump win the White House.

Acton is not the first former Facebook executive to express unease about the company after leaving it. Last year, former head of growth Chamath Palihapitiya caused a firestorm after saying “we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”, The Verge reported.

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According to The Verge, it was unclear whether Acton’s feelings about Facebook extend to his own app. But last month, Acton invested US$50 million (S$66 million) into Signal, an independent alternative to WhatsApp.

Shares of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat owner Snap fell further on Tuesday as Wall Street fretted over potential regulatory scrutiny that could hobble the business of the social networks.

Facebook lost 2.6 per cent after it said it faced questions from the US Federal Trade Commission about how its users’ personal data was mined by a political consultancy hired by Trump’s campaign. Facebook shares had already tumbled 6.8 per cent on Monday.

Since revelations on Saturday that a political consulting firm had improperly obtained personal data on 50 million Facebook users, the world’s largest social media company has lost US$60 billion of its stock market value.

In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for US$16 billion from its co-founders Jan Koum and Acton. Koum continues to lead the company.

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NASA shares creepy image of ‘spiders’ on Mars

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NASA on Thursday has released a creepy image showing ‘spiders’ on Mars, small darks spots on the reddish landscape with tendrils one could easily perceive as tiny legs.

The marks were captured by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May 13, 2018 at Mars’ south pole during the planet’s winter season. The ‘spiders’ make their appearance as the season turns to spring, dotting the terrain.

In fact, the ‘spiders’ seen in the image are actually ‘araneiform terrain,’ which NASA describes as “spider-like radiating mounds that form when carbon dioxide ice below the surface heats up and releases.”

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The government space agency noted that the process is not found here on Earth and is caused when carbon dioxide ice turns from a solid into a gas. The gas then builds up under the surface and ultimately breaks through in jets that deposit a darker dust around the planet.

“The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide leaves behind these spider-like features etched into the surface,” NASA explained on its website.

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