Playboy joins SpaceX and Tesla in deleting Facebook accounts

Last week, Elon Musk deleted both SpaceX and Tesla Facebook accounts because somebody asked him to on Twitter. Now Playboy has followed suit, cutting ties to its 25 million Facebook fans.

Playboy joins SpaceX and Tesla in deleting Facebook accounts

In a press release, the company explained that it had always struggled with Facebook’s content and policy guidelines given the adult nature of its magazine, but that the recent Cambridge Analytica revelations were the last straw. “The recent news about Facebook’s alleged mismanagement of users’ data has solidified our decision to suspend our activity on the platform at this time,” the statement reads.

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“There are more than 25 million fans who engage with Playboy via our various Facebook pages, and we do not want to be complicit in exposing them to the reported practices. Playboy has always stood for personal freedom and the celebration of sex. Today we take another step in that ongoing fight.”

For Playboy, the decision to abandon Facebook may have been an easy one – not only does the company acknowledge that it was hard to stay within the social network’s strict content guidelines, but the rewards are likely to be considerably lessened going forward. Facebook has already announced that it’s moving away from brands and back towards connecting its users directly. The opportunity to leave while making a statement probably seemed like an easy choice, when seen in that light.

Indeed, the gesture feels slightly less significant when you note that Playboy is still an active presence on Facebook-owned Instagram. Indeed, the company chose to amplify its statement by posting it on Instagram.

But here, the company is once again only following Elon Musk’s lead, where SpaceX and Tesla have also both maintained their Instagram accounts. When called out on this fact on Twitter, Musk declared that Instagram is “probably ok,” as 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,” he continued. “Also, we don’t advertise or pay for endorsements, so … don’t care,” he added.

That is the key difference between the two Facebook departures. While Musk’s appears to have been entirely on a whim, only publicised in 280-character tweets, Playboy put out a media statement to coincide with the takedown. But whatever the motivations, and however co-ordinated the decisions were or weren’t, the overall trend is still a worrying one for Facebook, and the need to stop the rot quickly and efficiently has never been more serious.

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