After the Facebook outage, which lasted over seven hours and affected Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal worth dropped by over $6 billion in only a few hours, knocking him down a rung on the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. A whistleblower came out hours before the disruption and exposed her name, which most likely contributed to the outage. Zuckerberg’s personal fortune was slashed by $6 billion in only a few hours. This has dropped Zuckerberg to sixth place among billionaires, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is now in sixth position, after Bill Gates, with $120.9 billion.
Facebook’s stock has lost nearly 5% of its value since mid-September, bringing the total loss to 15%. Zuckerberg’s nett worth has plummeted by more than $140 billion in only a few weeks, according to The IndexThe Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of stories on September 13 based on a cache of internal documents that revealed Facebook was aware of a wide range of issues with its products — such as Instagram’s negative impact on teenage girls’ mental health and misinformation about the January 6 Capitol riots — while downplaying the issues in public.
The reports piqued the interest of government officials, and the whistleblower stepped forwards on Monday. After applying for federal whistleblower protection, Frances Haugen, 37, disclosed her true name. Internal papers were given to Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and The Wall Street Journal by Haugen. She chose to expose her name, stating that Facebook realised that changing the algorithm to make it safer would result in users spending less time on the site and clicking on fewer advertisements, resulting in less revenue. Haugen was the one who provided papers and information about Instagram’s negative effects on adolescent mental health, which led to the platform’s suspension of Instagram Kids.
Facebook has responded by emphasising that the challenges confronting its products, such as political polarisation, are multifaceted and not only due to technological factors. “I believe it offers people comfort to assume that there must be a scientific or a technological explanation for the difficulties of political polarisation in the United States,” said Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global relations, to CNN. This was one of the longest outages ever encountered by Facebook and its services, such as WhatsApp. According to Facebook, the cause of the global outage was a router malfunction. According to Facebook, the outage was triggered by an erroneous configuration change.