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“叛逆者”再发声,WhatsApp联合创始人呼吁删除Facebook

Erick Sherman 2019年03月19日

布莱恩·阿克顿批评了硅谷通过交易隐私牟利的行径,虽然他自己也从中赚了钱。

2009年,美国人气移动社交应用WhatsApp的联合创始人布莱恩·阿克顿找工作时,曾被社交媒体巨头Facebook拒之门外。2014年,WhatsApp作价190亿美元卖给了Facebook,阿克顿等创始团队成员由此成为巨富。2017年,他又因Facebook将WhatsApp变现的计划跟Facebook分道扬镳。

据网络新闻媒体BuzzFeed News报道,上周三,作为WhatsApp的竞争对手、非营利机构Signal的领导者,阿克顿呼吁大家一起抵制Facebook,删除手机上的应用。此前他曾提出同样的建议。

周三当天,阿克顿作为客座讲师在母校斯坦福大学给本科班授课。他批评了硅谷通过交易隐私牟利的行径,虽然他自己也从中赚了钱。

BuzzFeed报道称,阿克顿当时表示: “之前我手下有50个员工,必须为他们着想,考虑他们能从中赚多少钱。我也得为投资者考虑,想着自己持有的少数股权。就算我想拒绝,也没勇气说出口。”

阿克顿的确离开了Facebook,如果没有离职,他可以得到Facebook最后一笔价值8.5亿美元的股票。

阿克顿和WhatsApp另一位联合创始人简·科姆原本希望另找方法将WhatsApp应用变现。他们一开始打算向WhatsApp用户每年收取1美元,支持提供隐私和安全的模式。他们认为只要有足够的用户就能盈利。

“赚不到大钱,如果有10亿用户……每年收入也就10亿美元。可是,谷歌和Facebook看不上,他们想赚几十亿美元。”阿克顿在斯坦福的课堂上这样说。

科姆去年也离开了Facebook,据称是因为Facebook想利用WhatsApp用户的个人数据。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton was rejected by Facebook when he applied for a job there in 2009. In 2014, the messaging service sold itself to the social network for $19 billion, making Acton, among others, wildly wealthy. Then he rejected Facebook in 2017 over its plans to monetize WhatsApp.

And on Wednesday, Acton—now the head of Signal, the nonprofit rival to WhatsApp—again called for people to join him and reject Facebook by deleting the app from their phones, BuzzFeed News reported. He’s publicly made that suggestion before.

In an appearance as a guest speaker to an undergraduate class at his alma mater, Stanford, Acton criticized Silicon Valley for making money by trading privacy for revenue, even though he ultimately profited himself from it.

“I had 50 employees, and I had to think about them and the money they would make from this sale,” Acton said, according to BuzzFeed. “I had to think about our investors and I had to think about my minority stake. I didn’t have the full clout to say no if I wanted to.”

Acton did walk away from Facebook before he received the final $850 million in stock grants he could have collected.

Both Acton and the other WhatsApp co-founder, Jan Koum, had hoped they could create another way to monetize their app. Originally, WhatsApp would charge users $1 a year that would support a model of privacy and security. They thought, with enough users, it would be profitable.

“It was not extraordinarily money-making, and if you have a billion users … you’re going to have $1 billion in revenue per year,” Acton said at Stanford. “That’s not what Google and Facebook want. They want multibillions of dollars.”

Koum left Facebook in 2018, reportedly due to Facebook’s plans to use personal data of WhatsApp members.

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