Playboy, the “gentlemen’s” nudie magazine that everyone just reads “for the articles,” just announced today that it will be leaving Facebook in light of the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the social media network gave the data of 50 million users to a Trump campaign-backed company who hoped to target voters during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Considering that the Playboy Facebook pages had over 25 million followers, Playboy’s decision to join the call to #DeleteFacebook is a big one and could be followed by other publications if the data scandal deepens.
In a statement released this morning, Playboy said:
For years, it has been difficult for Playboy to express our values on Facebook due to its strict content and policy guidelines. While that has challenged our business objectives and the ability to reach our audience in an authentic way, 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.
Playboy added that it didn’t want to be complicit in exposing the personal data of its more than 25 million Facebook followers to third or fourth parties.
Its Facebook page no longer exists.
“Playboy has always stood for personal freedom and the celebration of sex,” the statement concluded. “Today we take another step in that ongoing fight.”
Playboy’s decision to leave Facebook might’ve also been influenced by Facebook’s Jan. 11 announcement that it would tweak its News Feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends over publisher content. The tweak has reduced web links to just 10% of what appears on people’s feeds, seriously diminishing Facebook’s role in driving web traffic to publishers like Playboy.
Facebook’s decision to limit publisher content occurred after the growing perception that the social network had helped quickly spread fake news and viral hoaxes.