Mark Zuckerberg has seen his wealth fall by more than $6 billion in the space of five hours, knocking him down a spot on the list of the world’s richest people.
Facebook experienced lengthy outages yesterday, which meant that the tech giant’s top social media sites, including WhatsApp and Instagram, were not working for several hours – from around 4:45pm until 11pm (UK time).
That caused Facebook’s stocks to plummet by 4.9%, adding to a drop of about 15% since mid-September, Bloomberg reports.
That in turn led to Zuckerberg’s personal worth falling to $121.6 billion, dropping him down a place to fifth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, behind Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates on $124 billion.
Elon Musk tops the list on $210.6 billion, followed by Jeff Bezos on $185.7 billion and Bernard Arnault on $153.3 billion.
According to the index, the Facebook mogul has lost nearly $20 billion in just the space of a few weeks, dropping from $140 billion.
In a Facebook post, after the service had been restored yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg said: "Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today – I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about."
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A spokesman for the social media giant said yesterday: "To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today's outage across our platforms. We've been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running.
"The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.
"Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt."
Last month, on September 13, the Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of stories based on a collection of internal documents, revealing that Facebook knew about a wide range of problems with its products, such as the misinformation about January’s Capitol riots.
The whistleblower revealed her identity on Monday as Frances Haugen, a former product manager in Facebook's now-disbanded Civic Integrity Unit, appearing on 60 Minutes to say that things were "substantially worse at Facebook than anything I'd seen before”.
Facebook argues that the issues facing its products are complex and not caused by technology alone.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of global affairs, told CNN: “I think it gives people comfort to assume that there must be a technological or a technical explanation for the issues of political polarisation in the United States.”
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