As if the turmoil at Facebook and its various divisions wasn’t enough following the high-profile exit of the two founders of Instagram, things have now resorted to even lower levels. This particular issue concerns another big acquisition by the social media giant, WhatsApp. While the instant messaging service’s co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton have left Facebook, the latter has publicly spoken out against his former employer and the company that has made him very wealthy.
Now, following Brian Acton’s latest verbal attacks on Facebook for questioning his work on encryption and forcing him to leave, a Facebook executive has spoken out against him. David Marcus, the former head of the Facebook Messenger division and now in charge of the company’s blockchain efforts, spoke out against Acton, calling him a ‘new standard of low-class’. The rather personal attack comes in a post titled ‘the other side of the story, where Marcus has stated that Acton’s account in a Forbes interview greatly differs from what he witnessed first-hand.
“I find attacking the people and company that made you a billionaire, and went to an unprecedented extent to shield and accommodate you for years, low-class. It’s actually a whole new standard of low-class.” said Marcus in the post, also stating that he wasn’t asked by his employers to write the post but did it on his own. He also offers his own view of how things went down, including how Mark Zuckerberg personally defended WhatsApp, the team’s needs in the office, and the encryption that turned out to be so contentious.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook more than four years ago for a record $19 billion. Some reports claim that Facebook paid as much as $22 billion after regulatory clearances for the deal. Ten months ago, Acton left Facebook to focus on his nonprofit organization and his exit did not really gather as much attention as that of Jan Koum or the Instagram co-founders. In an exclusive interview with Forbes, Acton revealed why he left Facebook and his support for the ongoing #DeleteFacebook movement.
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Since his exit, Acton has been the most vocal supporter of stronger encryption for services such as WhatsApp. He claims the decision to leave Facebook came after its leaders CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg began questioning the encryption algorithm he built, in order to monetize the messaging platform.