Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who revealed the role played by data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica in obtaining data from Facebook users, said on Sunday he was blocked by the social media network.
On Twitter, Wylie claimed his account was suspended after he spoke up about his role in an alleged scheme to secretly hold data from millions of Americans. Cambridge Analytica is under fire for suspicions that it illicitly obtained user information, which resulted in the site being suspended by Facebook.
Wylie published the screenshot on his Twitter profile on Sunday.
Wylie is the co-founder of the political data analytics, which worked on Facebook ads for President Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
Media reports this weekend revealed that the firm held on to 50 million people’s data without their consent, for the purpose of identifying and swaying voters during the election.
The firm was initially funded by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer and led by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
According to Facebook, Cambridge academic Dr. Aleksandr Kogan was able to acquire this data by creating an app, called “thisisyourdigitallife” that prompted users to answer questions for a psychological profile. He then shared that data with Cambridge Analytica without their consent.
Facebook blocked Kogan’s app back in 2015. The social network also warned that it would take steps to suspend Wylie’s account, after believing for two years that the data was deleted.
“All parties involved — including the SCL Group/Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie and [thisisyourdigitallife creator] Aleksandr Kogan — certified to us that they destroyed the data in question,” said Paul Grewal, Facebook’s vice president and deputy general counsel.
“In light of new reports that the data was not destroyed, we are suspending these three parties from Facebook, pending further information. We will take whatever steps are required to see that the data in question is deleted once and for all — and take action against all offending parties,” Grewal added.
The New York Times reported on Friday that Facebook knew about Cambridge Analytica’s efforts two years ago, but didn’t take steps to suspend the firm until recently. Wylie elaborated on that in an interview in which he accused the Cambridge Analytica leadership of waging a “culture war”:
“Rules don’t matter for them. For them, this is a war, and it’s all fair,” Wylie told reporters. “They want to fight a culture war in America,” he added. “Cambridge Analytica was supposed to be the arsenal of weapons to fight that culture war.”
Cambridge Analytics said on Saturday that it “fully complies with Facebook’s terms of service and is currently in touch with Facebook…in order to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”