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Veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg quits Facebook and Messenger

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Facebook will be losing yet another prominent user: Walt Mossberg, one of the most respected technology journalists of our era, said that he will delete his account at the end of this year.

The former Wall Street Journal, Verge, and Recode writer announced on Facebook his Facebook and Messenger accounts will be deactivated “around the end of the year” (or in other words, any day now) and he will no longer be posting content on the social network.

“I am doing this — after being on Facebook for nearly 12 years — because my own values and the policies and actions of Facebook have diverged to the point where I’m no longer comfortable here,” Mossberg said in a Facebook post.

Mossberg, who currently has 266,185 followers on Facebook, said he’s already quit and deleted the Instagram app, which owned by Facebook. He said leaving Facebook and Messenger is simply finishing his abandonment of the company and its platforms.

Mossberg stressed his quitting is not to “spark some dump-Facebook movement” nor is it an attack on any Facebook employees and their work. Instead, it was a personal decision based on his values. Though he left open the possibility of returning to Facebook in the future if it becomes “effectively regulated,” he has “no current plans to do that as of now.”

In place of Facebook and its platforms, he says he’ll remain active on Twitter and various other platforms such as iMessage, email, and text message. 

Despite Mossberg explicitly saying he is not calling for everyone to follow his lead and quit Facebook, his disappearance from the platform will be felt, and his followers might reconsider their own values and whether Facebook fits or not.

Make no mistake, losing prominent users such as Mossberg leaves a lasting impact on Facebook, which has been losing the hearts and minds of  some of its most dedicated users in the wake of scandal after scandal.

As a major pioneer of consumer electronics reporting and reviews, Mossberg’s decision will send a ripple (however small or large) throughout the technology sphere. He’s all-but-directly saying Facebook is a scourge.

Every social network has its own problems, but deciding to cut one of them out (especially when you’ve used it as publishing platform) is a bold step towards reducing its power and reach.

Another one bites the dust. Who’s next?

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