Facebook Inc. (FB) and its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg can't catch a break this week as the social media empire faces a major backlash on a wave of negative news that broke broke Monday regarding a privacy scandal involving data gathered from 50 million users on its platform without their consent.
In response to the news, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook has been trending and has gained momentum, winning support from billionaire investor and dual CEO Elon Musk, who deleted the Facebook pages for his rocket company SpaceX and his electric car manufacturer Tesla Inc. (TSLA). (See also: Facebook Stock Pressured on #DeleteFacebook Trend.)
Data Scandal With Trump-Tied Firm
On Monday, Facebook suffered its worst one-day decline in four years, dropping to its lowest valuation since its initial public offering (IPO) in 2010 and costing its CEO and founder billions of dollars in losses. The tech giant has been criticized for mismanaging data on its billions of worldwide users, in an instance wherein analytics firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly helped the Trump campaign advertise with data on Facebook users.
While Zuckerberg spoke out about the crisis for the first time, personally apologizing and promising to spend millions to fix issues at the Silicon Valley giant while working with the government on new regulation, many on the Street are doubtful that his words can help ease a growing number of Facebook critics.
Musk: FB Pages 'Look Lame'
Musk, who has engaged in debates with Facebook's Zuckerberg on issues such as artificial intelligence (AI) and rockets, took up one of his Twitter Inc. (TWTR) followers after being asked to delete the Facebook page for his rocket company. "Will do," replied Musk, who said he was unaware that SpaceX even had such a page.
When another user shared a photo of Tesla's official Facebook page, asking if it too should be deleted, Musk simply replied: "Definitely. Looks lame anyway." Both pages were deleted shortly after the tweets were exchanged.
As lawmakers call on Zuckerberg to testify in front of Congress, his company's stock is sinking further, with FB down nearly 13% in the last five days at a price of $161.73 as of Friday afternoon. (See also: Why the Facebook-Google Digital Duopoly May Be Dead.)