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WhatsApp co-founder urges people to delete Facebook

Gorkha Post

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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’s Parker spacecraft rockets toward sun for closest look

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CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA has launched a spacecraft to the sun which will fly closer to our star than anything ever sent before. The Parker Solar Probe rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Sunday.

The spacecraft is on an unprecedented quest that will take it straight through the wispy edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, just 3.8 million (6 million kilometers) from the sun’s surface that was visible during last August’s total solar eclipse.

It will eventually stay comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.

Saturday morning’s launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble and postponed by a day.

But what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday, as NASA noted.

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“Fly baby girl, fly!!” project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before lift-off. She urged it to “go touch the sun!”

“All I can say is, ‘Wow, here we go.’ We’re in for some learning over the next several years,” said Eugene Parker, the 91-year-old astrophysicist for whom the spacecraft is named.

It was the first time NASA named a spacecraft after someone still alive, and Parker wasn’t about to let it take off without him.

Thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns, including Parker and his family.

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