Facebook stock nosedive costs Zuckerberg $6bn as whistleblower interview and service outage rattle investors

Shares in Facebook fell sharply on Monday in the aftermath of the explosive interview with whistleblower Frances Haugen and as its companies experienced an extended service outage.

It was the worst session performance for the company in nearly a year with the share price falling 4.9 per cent – the worst decline since the five per cent drop recorded on 9 November 2020.

To compare, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell by just 2.1 per cent in trading on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 323.54 points to 34,002.92, and the S&P 500 shed 1.3 per cent.

The selloff cost Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about $6 billion personally, according to Bloomberg. The young billionaire tumbled below Bill Gates as the now No 5 richest person in the world.

Following the Sunday evening broadcast of 60 Minutes featuring Ms Haugen, a former data scientist for the company, the day was always going to go badly for the social media giant.

Ms Haugen alleged that Facebook put profit ahead of safety when it came to dealing with hate speech and misinformation, and called the company’s actions a “betrayal of democracy”.

She also claimed that the company had deceived investors concerning its internal processes regarding such issues.

Facebook’s Monday then got considerably worse when the widespread outage struck not just the main platform, but also Instagram, and the WhatsApp messaging service.

Occurring at approximately 12pm ET, the outage began to end around 5.30pm ET.

Such problems – especially after they have been ongoing for hours – likely indicates there was a major problem with the technology underpinning Facebook’s services.

In 2019, when it suffered from its biggest-ever outage, it was more than 24 hours from the beginnings of the problem until Facebook said it was resolved.

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