Wow, Elon Musk Just Deleted the Facebook Pages for SpaceX and Tesla

And Liftoff for Falcon Heavy. Credit: SpaceX

About a week ago, it was revealed that the roughly 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by Cambridge Analytica. This private data firm, which worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the Brexit campaign, reportedly used this data build a software program that could predict and influence voter choices. Since that time, Facebook stock has taken a serious hit, investigations have been mounted, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself has come under fire.

In addition, this revelation has led many Facebook users to reconsider their privacy settings or cancel their accounts. One such person is Elon Musk. In a move that could prove rather harmful for the social media giant, Musk recently responded to the news by deleting the official Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX. And in a rather ironic twist, the announcement came via another social media giant – Elon Musk’s twitter account.

It all began after Musk responded to a tweet posted by Brian Acton, the famed programmer and entrepreneur who co-founded WhatsApp and is the founder of Signal (an encrypted communications app). In what was clearly an act of jest, he responded to Acton’s statement (“It is time”) and use of the trending hashtag (#deletefacebook), by inquiring “What’s Facebook?”

Naturally, no one was buying it, given that SpaceX and Facebook – and their respective CEOs) – have a rather colorful history of business relations. These include the failed launch that took place in September of 2016, where a Falcon 9 carrying a Israeli telecommunications satellite (which would have also been used by Facebook) exploded on the launch pad.

In response to the news, Zuckerberg posted a statement on Facebook that placed the blame for the failed launch squarely on Musk’s company:

“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.”

This old grudge was also raised on Twitter amidst the discussion about Facebook’s data breach, with a user reminding everyone about the incident. Musk brushed this aside, tweeting, “Yeah, my fault for being an idiot. We did give them a free launch to make up for it and I think they had some insurance.”

This led to a challenge being issued to Musk, where users wrote him and urged him to delete his company’s accounts. In what was arguably an attempt to keep the joke going, Musk responded by indicating that he didn’t know these accounts existed. He did, however, also promise to remove the accounts forthwith.

And it appears that Musk was true to his word. While SpaceX and Tesla still have Facebook pages and show up in searches, the official accounts appear to be gone. Musk chose to maintain the company’s official Instagram account though, and used the opportunity to once again stress that he had little use for Facebook:

“Instagram’s probably ok imo, so long as it stays fairly independent. I don’t use FB & never have, so don’t think I’m some kind of martyr or my companies are taking a huge blow. Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so … don’t care.”

Well, martyr or not, Musk appears to have put his money where his mouth is. And of course, his twitter feed is still going strong and there is no indication he plans on turning that off anytime soon! And whether this was intended as as slight to Zuckerberg or a sincere expression of indifference, it is likely that Musk’s move could prompt more users to delete their accounts.

But of course, the social media giant will survive. And given Zuckerberg‘s and Musk‘s competing visions to provide global broadband internet access using satellites, its a certainty that the two entrepreneurs are not done with each other!

Further Reading: Futurism, Twitter

Work Efficiency Declines 75% On ISS As Facebook Arrives On Station

The International Space Station. As if you didn't recognize it. Image: NASA

Have you heard of Facebook? And it’s young billionaire leader? It’s a groovy computer thing where people share pictures of what they had for breakfast, their cats, and where they argue with strangers.

Today, Facebook will actually serve some purpose other than stranger-arguing and whatnot. Today, at 12:55 PM ET (9:55 AM PT), Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s fearless leader, will conduct a live video call with astronauts aboard the ISS. The entire 20 minute event will be streamed live at NASA’s Facebook page, here.

The best part about it, is that Zuckerberg will be asking the astronauts questions submitted by people who post them on NASA’s Facebook page. So check out NASA on Facebook and submit an interesting question.

Don't read this caption, read his sign. Image: NASA
Don’t read this caption, read his sign. Image: NASA

The three astronauts involved are Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams, of NASA, and the ESA’s Tim Peake. I’m sure they’re hoping for some interesting questions, so don’t disappoint them, Universe Today readers.

As a publicity stunt, this one’s a doozy. I wonder who courted who for this one? I suppose it doesn’t really matter; it’s a fun idea for everyone involved, and who knows what will come of it.

So go ahead and visit https://www.facebook.com/NASA/?fref=nf and check out other people’s questions and ask one of your own. Get their quick before the loonies and the conspiracy theorists clog it up. Seriously.

This is an example of the kind of thing being asked so far:

“The ISS is fake. NASA is fake and this Zionist puppet Zuckerberg is fake. My question: Why does NASA keep lying to the public about EVERYTHiNG since they were formed in 1958?”

So please, we’re begging you. Ask something intelligent. Just please don’t ask them to post pictures of their breakfast.

Is Alpha Centauri The Best Place To Look For Aliens?

For generations, human beings have fantasized about the possibility of finding extra-terrestrial life. And with our ongoing research efforts to discover new and exciting extrasolar planets (aka. exoplanets) in distant star systems, the possibility of actually visiting one of these worlds has received a real shot in the arm. Unfortunately, given the astronomical distances involved, not to mention the cost of mounting an expedition, doing so presents numerous significant challenges.

However, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and the Breakthrough Foundation – an international organization committed to exploration and scientific research –  is determined to mount an interstellar mission to Alpha Centauri, our closest stellar neighbor, in the coming years. With the backing of such big name sponsors as Mark Zuckerberg and Stephen Hawking, his latest initiative (named “Project Starshot“) aims to send a tiny spacecraft to the Alpha Centauri system to search for planets and signs of life.

Continue reading “Is Alpha Centauri The Best Place To Look For Aliens?”