Jason Calacanis Urges Users to Quit Facebook and Instagram, Says He’ll Fund Alternative

“I’m gonna fund folks to replace both platforms,” tech investor tweeted Sunday evening

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Startup investor Jason Calacanis on Sunday urged Facebook and Instagram users to leave the social media platforms and announced plans to fund alternatives.

Calcanis made the announcement while responding to a tweet from news website Axios which reported that President Trump and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had spoken via phone prior to the weekend, which saw many cities gripped by civil unrest following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while in police custody.

In the tweet, Calacanis urged his followers to turn off their notifications on both platforms.

“Turn off all your posts on Facebook. Turn off all your posts on Instagram. I’m ghosting myself and I’m gonna fund folks to replace both platforms,” Calacanis wrote.

Zuckerberg and Trump reportedly spoke on a phone call Friday to discuss the rising tensions between the White House and social media platforms as Trump continues to push to revise Section 230, a law that governs how tech companies must oversee content posted by users on their platforms. Trump’s push to do this came after Twitter added a fact check to a tweet by the president that appeared to glorify violence against protesters in Minnesota.

Zuckerberg is reluctant to force Facebook to take a heavier hand in moderating user content — and said late last week that he didn’t think the platform should be fact-checking the president.

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” Zuckerberg told Fox News.

There have also been concerns by some protestors that location-tracking and face-mapping features on social media could be abused by law enforcement, though Calcanis did not mention this in his tweet.

Calacanis didn’t provide more details as to how he’ll fund the Facebook and Instagram alternative, or if any specific startups are candidates. There are many Facebook and Instagram alternatives that already exist — including Ello, which claims to be Facebook without real names or ads, open-source platform Minds and app-based Vero, which saw its numbers increase after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal in March 2018.

Calacanis is a prolific angel investor in technology startups and founder of daily newsletter service Inside and San Francisco-based startup accelerator The LAUNCH Incubator. His prior investments in tech heavyweights include Uber, Robinhood, Calm and Tumblr in their seed and early-stage funding rounds. According to funding tracker PitchBook Data Inc., roughly half of Calacanis’ investments — 40 out of 87 — generated exits.

One of Calacanis’ fellow venture investors chimed on Twitter to voice their support. “My fund is smaller, but my determination is as strong as yours. I’m in, too,” Moxxie Ventures managing director Katie Stanton replied to Calacanis.

AppTopia founder Eliran Sapir responded to Calacanis’ tweet and pointed out that his endeavor to replace Facebook will undoubtedly be a costly one. “Two cents: Storing media (for free) can get expensive very quickly. FB is able to this very cheaply because of their scale and in house server farms. Custom racks/servers/nas/dedicated pipes and bandwidth,” Sapir said.

See Calcanis’ tweet below: