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News Article

Facebook Stock Plummets; Zuckerberg Loses US$7 billion

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Tue, 10/05/2021 - 09:34

Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune fell by US$7 billion in a matter of hours as investor confidence in Facebook deteriorates following an internal data leak by a whistleblower and an unidentified bug that caused widespread global outage across its platforms.

Yesterday, the company’s shares fell by over 5 percent, equivalent to an estimated loss of US$7 billion on top of an accumulated drop-off of about 15 percent since mid-September when the company’s data was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the tech magnate has seen losses of almost US$140 billion over the last few weeks, demoting Zuckerberg to 5th place among the world’s richest individuals, just below Bill Gates.  

Whistleblower, Frances Haugen, had leaked internal documents reveling that Facebook was aware it was contributing to several social issues including: body dysmorphia to teenage girls on Instagram, widespread misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the January 6th Capital riots—even as they downplayed the issues publicly. Facebook avoided accountability, emphasizing that that the issues it has identified, including political polarization are complex, but not caused by technology alone.

Its problems were compounded by a sudden global outage across the company’s platforms Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and even Oculus VR that lasted for almost six hours. In Mexico, the social platform didn´t fully come online until 1:26 pm. Security experts were quick to point to a Name System Failure (DNS), which translates website names into IP addresses and without it inter-process communication cannot take place so a connection cannot be established. This was later confirmed by Cisco’s internet analysis division ThousandEyes.

“We are aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” said Facebook communications exec Andy Stone after four hours of silence.

The social media company could observe continued losses into today depending on how damming Frances Haugen’s testimony before the congress is. The result of which could affect the outcome of a US lawsuit which would force the company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp. 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Bloomberg, ThousandEyes, 60 Minutes
Photo by:   Annie Spratt
Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst