Facebook shares saw a 5% drop in value after the company experienced its worst outage in over a decade. Yesterday, the company suffered a PR nightmare when a former employee decided to reveal secrets in a 60 Minutes interview.
Facebook Shares Shed $47 Billion In Value
The rough patch involving Facebook continued Monday when a service outage hit the social media titan’s servers that lasted more than six hours. Even before the technical problem, Facebook shares were freefalling by around 4.89%.
As a result of the decline, Facebook shares lost about $47.3 billion in market capitalization. However, the loss doesn’t stop there.
Based on Facebook’s $85.97 billion revenue in 2020, the company lost around $163,565 in revenue for every minute of the outage, This meant a total loss of revenue of $60 million for its six hours of downtime.
Consequently, Facebook had to pull out of the $1 trillion club its shares with Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. The loss in stock value put the company at $919.79 billion, $80 billion short of the minimum requirement.
For CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who owns 14% of Facebook, the drop in value meant he lost around $6 billion. This loss relegated him from fifth to sixth place in the world’s richest list.
Server Outage Around Noon
On Monday, Facebook’s app, along with Instagram and WhatsApp, suddenly went down. Users found it impossible to access their accounts during this time.
As more and more people tried to log in simultaneously, this produced a ripple effect that made things even more difficult. “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook tweeted. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The outage marks the company’s worst downtime since 2008. That year, a bug caused social media’s services to go dark for nearly 24 hours. This left 80 million users (at the time) unable to load their timelines.
A planned server configuration change in 2019 took Facebook offline for around 14 hours, affecting 2.3 billion users. Currently, Facebook claims they have 2.89 billion users, making it the world’s most popular social media platform.
Facebook Whistleblower Interview in 60 Minutes
Making matters worse is the whistleblower interview with “60 Minutes” Sunday. Former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen went on air to admit she was the whistleblower who leaked company documents to the Wall Street Journal last month.
This served as the source for the newspaper’s series of reports on Facebook. This includes allegations that Facebook’s algorithm promoted hate speech and misinformation.
Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation unit, made copies of internal documents before leaving the company. She gave copies to the media and accused the company of prioritizing its “own profits over public safety — putting people’s lives at risk.”
Senate Hearing On Social Media’s Harmful Effects To Children and Teens
As an offshoot to the leaked Facebook documents, the US Senate’s Commerce subcommittee held a hearing last Thursday.
They invited Antigone Davis, Facebook global head of safety, about Instagram’s impact on teenagers’ mental health. They also questioned Facebook’s plans to create more products targeting children.
The leaked documents showed that Facebook is well aware of the harmful effects of Instagram on young users. In particular, Facebook’s own studies showed that 13% of British users and 6% of American users pointed to Instagram as their reason to commit suicide.
Watch the NBC News video reporting that social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp hit by the massive global outage:
What do you think of Facebook as a company and as a social product? Should the government step in and hold the company accountable for its many social ills?
Let us know what you think about social media in general. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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