Key Words: Mark Hamill quits Facebook, saying Mark Zuckerberg ‘values profit more than truthfulness’
The Force isn’t strong with Facebook anymore.
OG “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill quit the social network on Sunday, accusing Facebook
CEO Mark Zuckerberg of turning to the Dark Side of capitalism.
The actor who originated the iconic role of Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars” trilogy announced his Facebook boycott on Twitter
, where he condemned Zuckerberg for his controversial decision not to police political ads on the platform in the run-up to the 2020 election:
Then actor included two emoji that were probably meant to suggest that America is greater than money, but he included the Malaysian flag instead of the U.S. flag. He later corrected himself in the comments by using an American flag, instead.
The post has drawn more than 17,000 retweets and 151,000 likes since it was posted Sunday evening. It drew many supportive comments, with some of the most popular responses including a woman who said she deleted her Facebook account eight months ago. “It feels great. Zuckerberg is making billions and destroying democracy in the process,” she wrote.
“Facebook has become the Empire. Like the very one you destroyed,” chimed in another Twitter user demonstrating familiarity with the Disney-owned
Facebook did not immediately response to MarketWatch’s request for comment.
Still others asked why Hamill isn’t holding other tech companies such as Google
and Twitter accountable for the roles their platforms play in the spread of misinformation, or their treatment of user data.
This all stems from a blog post from Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern last Thursday that reiterated Zuckerberg’s decision regarding freedom of expression on the social-networking site. “People should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public,” he wrote.
Hamill isn’t the only celeb slamming Facebook’s stance on political ads. “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen said in a speech before the Anti-Defamation League in November that if Facebook existed in the 1930s, it would have allowed Adolf Hitler to post ads for his “solution” to the “Jewish problem” because the social-media giant cares “more about boosting their share price than about protecting democracy.”
Facebook countered that Cohen “misrepresented Facebook’s policies” and noted that “hate speech is actually banned on our platform.”
What’s more, a few of Hamill’s fellow “Star Wars” actors have also left social media for good. Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey — Luke’s protégée poised to lead the next generation of Jedi in the new trilogy — left Facebook and Instagram, acquired by Facebook in 2012, as her star was rising when “The Force Awakens” came out in 2015. She told Buzzfeed that her relationship with social media is “cut off like a Skywalker limb,” in part because of the negativity that runs rampant online. “I don’t really think bad vibes should have the sun shone on them,” she said.
And actress Kelly Marie Tran penned a New York Times op-ed about how badly internet trolls harassed her after she became the first woman of color to have a lead role in a “Star Wars” movie, in 2017’s “The Last Jedi.”
“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” she wrote. So she left social media, as well. And Hamill, costar John Boyega and director Rian Johnson came to her defense.
Last April, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced she was giving up her personal Facebook account (although her professional one remains active) because “social media poses a public health risk to everybody.” WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton urged users to “#deleteFacebook” in 2018 over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal (WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014), and Apple
co-founder Steve Wozniak quit using Facebook almost two years ago over privacy concerns.