Meet The Billionaires Behind Signal And Telegram, Two New Online Homes For Angry Conservatives – Forbes
In 2018, Brian Acton, the billionaire WhatsApp cofounder, committed several fateful actions. He had quit Facebook a few months earlier, and in March, he took his rift with the company public by firing off an angry tweet—“It is time. #deleteFacebook”—just as the company that had bought his app descended into scandal over its data-sharing practices and status as a hotbed for conservative misinformation. Nearly at the same time, Acton was funneling $50 million into a new non-profit, the Signal Foundation, naming himself its executive chairman. The group’s overriding goal: finance a three-year-old app called Signal, which allowed users to send end-to-end encrypted messages.
Signal offered easy communication and secure, total anonymity. With the new funding, it wouldn’t need to cave to commercial interests and sell ads, something Acton hated about Facebook. Grandly, he envisioned Signal making “private communication accessible and ubiquitous,” he told Forbes in 2018, and the app has largely lived up to his expectations. It is especially valued among journalists and activists like the ones who planned the