Facebook is suffering another blow this week as calls for users to delete the social media platform went viral on Twitter on Friday with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook.
The unwanted attention comes after Meta - the parent company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - said in its earnings report on Wednesday that Facebook lost users for the first time in its 18 year history, falling by around half a million users in the last three months of 2021.
The loss of users was most felt in Africa, Latin America and India.
As a result of its lower than expected forecast, Meta’s stock price plunged more 26 per cent on Thursday, wiping out $230bn (€200 billion) in its market value.
Bloomberg reported Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg could see $24 billion (€21 billion) erased from his personal fortune due to the stock drop.
Meta blamed the weaker forecast on inflation and supply-chain disruptions, which are impacting advertisers' budgets.
The company also said it is facing setbacks as a result of Apple's privacy changes in its IOS and has increased competition for users from rivals like TikTok.
"People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly," CEO Mark Zuckerberg told AFP News.
Another reason for the drop in Facebook users is the significant lack of trust in the social media platform since the Cambridge Analytica crisis and recent whistleblower leaks from former Facebook employee Francis Haugen showed the company failed to combat misinformation and abuse.
As a result, Meta has been under fire for its impact on young people.
Calls for boycotts
“In 2016, I deleted my account after [the] Cambridge Analytica scandal when personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users was collected without their consent,” one user wrote on Twitter.
“Horrible company and the name change to #Meta makes it even more of a horrid company,” said another Twitter user.
Others said the problem was more widespread. “I see #deletefacebook trending but it's just one channel of a multitude of channels where hatred and misinformation are peddled every second of every day. Social media needs a complete refresh, whether that's Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Gettr, Insta,” another Twitter user posted.
But Meta is not the only company facing calls for a boycott. Music streaming giant Spotify forecast 183 million paid subscribers when its current quarter ends, short of the 184 million that analysts had expected.
The news saw its shares crash on Wednesday, falling almost 23 per cent at one point.
It comes as the hashtags #DeleteSpotify and #ByeSpotify have surfaced since podcaster Joe Rogan invited guests who made controversial comments about COVID-19.
High profile artists such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young have demanded Spotify remove their music in response.