A lot of people have been abandoning Facebook lately, but one recent name carries more weight than most. Walt Mossberg, who's spent decades covering Silicon Valley for publications like the Wall Street Journal and Verge, is "one of the most respected technology journalists of our era," per Mashable. And on Monday, he announced he was leaving Facebook, as well as Facebook-owned apps Messenger and Instagram, after nearly 12 years. "I am doing this … because my own values and the policies and actions of Facebook have diverged to the point where I'm no longer comfortable here," he wrote to 266,185 followers before his account vanished. Though Mossberg didn't elaborate much, "his history of public writing left little doubt that his ire was aimed largely at the company’s policies and actions on user privacy," per the New York Times.
Facebook has faced intense criticism over security breaches, claims of ignored Russian propaganda, and more. Just last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to address critics after reports that the company hired a company to smear critics. Mashable predicts Mossberg's exit "will send a ripple (however small or large) throughout the technology sphere. He's all-but-directly saying Facebook is a scourge." Still, Mossberg didn't suggest others follow his lead. "This is a decision I am making just for myself," he said. "If the company or the service change significantly for the better, in my view, or become effectively regulated, I may resume regular use." Mossberg, who plans to stay active on Twitter, is currently writing a book on the transformation of the tech industry over his career, with a release date set for next fall, per the Times. (Read more Facebook stories.)