Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Slumped in Just a Few Hours
Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth plummeted by more than $6 billion in just a few hours – after the whistleblower came forward and outages took Facebook offline.
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About a month ago, a 37-year-old former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen filed at least 8 complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that Facebook knows their platform and apps are being used to spread misinformation, violence, and hate, especially to young girls via Instagram. And that they are deliberately hiding evidence of their shortcoming from investors and the public.
“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, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen told “60 Minutes.”
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says political parties have been quoted in Facebook’s own research saying they know Facebook changed its algorithm and “now if [they] don't publish angry, hateful, polarizing… content,” there’s less engagement. https://t.co/XKKBhxZZ36pic.twitter.com/tvSmVIJfWT
Facebook is feeding a negative imagery via their newsfeed just for a few clicks. The whistleblower further added that political parties have been quoted in Facebook’s own research with evidence from a variety of sources, saying that they changed their algorithm and if they don’t publish angry, hateful, and polarizing content there is less engagement, affecting societies around the world.
The selloff prompted the social-media giant’s stocks to slump by 4.9% on Monday after Facebook and Facebook-owned platforms, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp crashed at 11:45 a.m. ET. Zuckerberg’s net worth reduced by $7 billion within hours. According to Bloomberg’s Scott Carpenter, his wealth is now $120.9 billion, making him the fifth-richest person in the world. He had previously risen to number 3 on the Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. However, his net worth has been dropping since a few weeks.
On September 13th, the Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of stories revealing how Instagram prompted pages glorifying eating disorders, triggering mental health issues in these girls. “I have to be thin,” “Eternally starved,” “I want to be perfect” are names of some of the pages that Instagram’s algorithm promoted to an account belonging to a 13-year-old who had shown interest in weight loss. Instagram is not only failing to track down accounts promoting eating disorders but also actively promoting misinformation about the capitol riots. The reports drew attention of government officials and in response Facebook emphasized that the issues they are facing are complex and not caused by technology alone.
“We do not allow content that promotes or encourages eating disorders and we removed the accounts shared with us for breaking these rules,” a spokesperson for Facebook, Instagram’s parent company told CNN.
On claims that the incentives behind Facebook are maligned and the company is not doing enough to eradicate hate, misinformation, and conspiracy; Facebook responded that they are heavily invested in safety and security to keep the platform safe and to fight misinformation. Further adding that they have a strong track record of using their own and external research to inform changes in their apps in collaboration with experts and organizations.