The comedian and actor, in a post on the social-media platform, said he will delete his Facebook account by this Friday. His page currently has 10.1 million fans.
Ferrell cited Facebook’s mishandling of user data in the case of Cambridge Analytica, a U.K.-based political data-analytics firm that obtained unauthorized info on 50 million users without their knowledge or consent. Facebook has pledged to make changes to give users more control over privacy settings and restrict usage of data on its platform, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for the situation. But evidently those measures haven’t satisfied Ferrell.
“I know I am not alone when I say that I was very disturbed to hear about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of millions of Facebook users’ information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens’ privacy,” Ferrell wrote in the post.
He continued, “I can no longer, in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable.”
Ferrell joins the budding revolt against Facebook in the wake of the user-privacy fiasco. Playboy also has announced that it was leaving the platform, after Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages for Tesla Motors and SpaceX last week. Brian Acton, a co-founder of messaging app WhatsApp — which Facebook acquired in a deal valued at $19 billion — called for a Facebook boycott in a March 20 tweet: “It is time. #deletefacebook.”
Ferrell, in his farewell post on Facebook, admitted that he’s “always had an aversion to social media” and has primarily used it “to help support our work at Funny Or Die” — the comedy media company he co-founded — as well as some of his personal projects and charity causes. Ferrell does not maintain official Twitter or Instagram accounts.
Here’s the full text of Ferrell’s message, posted on Tuesday:
I’m reaching out to let you know that in 72 hours I will be deleting my Facebook account. I am not deleting it immediately, in order to give this message enough time to get across to my fans and followers.
I have always had an aversion to social media and have primarily used it as a tool to help support our work at Funny Or Die, some of my personal projects, as well as charity causes that I am passionate about. Facebook allowed me to promote and share the work of many dedicated and talented individuals who deserved recognition.
I know I am not alone when I say that I was very disturbed to hear about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of millions of Facebook users’ information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens’ privacy. I was further appalled to learn that Facebook’s reaction to such a violation was to suspend the account of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower.
In this day and age, with misinformation running rampant, it’s important that we protect the truth, as well as those who work to bring it to light. I can no longer, in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable.
I love my fans and hope to further interact with them through my comedy via the mediums of film and television.