It was a bad day for Mark Zuckerberg and his shareholders of Facebook on Monday. While the tech giant has experienced great success with his company that has left shareholders experiencing significant returns over the last year, there are problems that need to be addressed. There have been a series of controversies such as Russia advertising on Facebook to interfere with the 2016 election and data breaches in user confidentiality.
The Russian Scandal and Data Breach
Both the U.S. Congress and the U.K. Governments have been seeking details on how Russia was able to spread vast amounts of disinformation on the Facebook media platform to sway American voters during the election process. It was additionally discovered that Russia had used the same platform for political purposes outside their country to affect other governmental democratic processes.
Evidence has been uncovered that links Russian intelligence in trying to interfere in other government elections through Facebook in Britain, Italy, Austria and other countries through their platform. These two scandals have caused alarms to be raised over the integrity and safety of the Facebook platform and its ability to protect its users and the public.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the luck of Facebook seemed to wear off for a bit as news headlines broke the story that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked as a consultant to the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign had harvested profile information of 50 million Facebook users. The report was published in the New York Times. On Sunday, lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic party wanted more information from Facebook as to how this could have happened and how they intend to prevent it from happening again. The concern is that this private user information can be used for partisan politics and violates the privacy of users of the Facebook platform.
Because of these consecutive debacles, shares of the social platform giant took a substantial hit Monday, losing 7% of its value in the day’s trading. Zuckerberg who owns 16% of the company’s shares lost $5.1 Billion dollars in the day’s trading. His present net worth after today’s losses are $69.5 billion.
While he is still the 7th richest person on the planet, down from the 5th richest, it could easily be said he must be a bit concerned that one day of trading losses from this data breach could make him lose so much of his wealth. If the trend continued it would certainly be a problem for both Zuckerberg and Facebook.