AsiaAir CEO quits Facebook: ‘New Zealand was too much for me’
People talk about quitting Facebook in protest. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes did it.
Fernandes, who had 670,000 followers, said in a series of tweets on Sunday morning that Facebook needs to “clean up” after videos of the New Zealand mosque attacks were uploaded to the platform.
“The amount of hate that goes on in social media sometimes outweighs the good,” he said in a tweet Sunday. “Facebook could have done more to stop some of this.”
For at least 17 minutes on Friday, a suspected terrorist streamed live video of a mass murder at a mosque in New Zealand. New Zealand police alerted Facebook to the livestream, and Facebook said it quickly removed the shooter’s account and the video. Facebook also said it was removing praise or support for the shooting “as soon as we’re aware.”
But that was not enough for Fernandes, CEO of the Malaysian airline company. Although Fernandes said he was a “social media fan,” the livestream caused him to leave Facebook.
“It is a great platform to communicate,” he tweeted after canceling his Facebook account. “Strong engagement and very useful but New Zealand was too much for me to take along with all the other issues.”
Fernandes said he had been “a victim of so many fake bitcoin and other stories” and decided to close down his account.
Facebook needs to “clean up and not just think of financials,” he said.
On Saturday, Facebook said that it removed 1.5 million videos of the attack.
“We continue to work around the clock to remove violating content using a combination of technology and people…,” Mia Garlnick, spokesperson for Facebook New Zealand, said on Twitter.
Fernandes also said he was debating leaving Twitter, but said Sunday that “on Twitter I think the battle for me goes on.”
Fernandes has nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers and has sent more than 20,000 tweets.
Correction: The headline on an earlier version of this article misstated AirAsia’s name.