Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth fell by over $6 billion in a double whammy that sent Facebook stock plummeting. The selloff followed whistleblower revelations and a seven-hour outage in which the company lost $100 million.
Mark Zuckerberg, 37, one of the richest persons in the world, fell to No. 5 on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index as Facebook’s stock slid on Monday. His personal wealth dropped down to $121.6 billion, putting him below Bill Gates. According to the index, Zuckerberg’s wealth has fallen almost $140 billion in a matter of weeks.
Due to the whistleblower’s revelations and an outage, Facebook saw its stock fall 4.9% on Monday, adding to an overall decline of about 15% since mid-September.
On Monday, Facebook apologized for the nearly seven-hour outage it attributed to a “faulty configuration change.” The disruption affected its entire network, which includes Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The company lost up to $100 million during the loss of service, NBC reported.
“Sorry for the disruption today,” Zuckerberg said, in an apology to users. “I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”
Some users blasted the apology issued by Mark Zuckerberg over the company’s outage, labeling it self-aggrandizing and saying many welcome to the much-needed break from Facebook, the Daily Mail reported.
“Please don’t make yourself more important than you are,” wrote one user.
“Get off your high horse,” wrote a second.
“Less gossiping in social media for a few hours is the greatest gift one can give to humanity,” wrote a third.
On September 13, the Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of internal Facebook documents, released by a whistleblower, which revealed Facebook was aware of a wide range of problems with their products. Among the issues cited were misinformation and the harm Instagram was causing to the mental health of teenage girls.
On Sunday night, in an interview airing on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the whistleblower revealed herself. Former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen, 37, said the company had turned a blind eye to disinformation and prioritized profit over the public good, CNN reported.
Haugen said internal documents showed that Facebook knew its platforms were used to spread misinformation, hate and violence.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said. “And Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”
CBS correspondent Scott Pelly quoted one internal Facebook document, stating: “We have evidence from a variety of sources that hate speech, divisive political speech and misinformation on Facebook and the family of apps are affecting societies around the world.”