On Monday, Oct. 4, the world experienced a blackout that lasted nearly six hours from social giants Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, causing Mark Zuckerberg to subtract from his billion-dollar fortune.
According to Forbes, the Facebook head lost $5.9 billion in just a few hours, making him the world’s sixth richest person with a net worth of $121.6 billion. The sharp decline can be attributed to the turmoil created Monday, which caused the platform’s stock to decline 4.9 percent.
As AfroTech previously reported, the blackout disrupted the internal systems of the platform with some employees reportedly being locked out of headquarters, unable to access company e-mails and Workplace, the company’s internal communication platform.
The social giant’s difficulties have only heightened since mid-September when the Wall Street Journal revealed a series of stories that said Facebook was aware of discrepancies within their products that include misinformation and harmful media effects, which in turn create staggering mental health issues.
Upon the circulation of the jarring reports, government officials became more involved. Facebook’s situation worsened when Frances Haugen, a former staff member came forward speculating Facebook values profits over the safety of its users.
To appease controversy, Facebook has stated that discrepancies within its product are not due to technological error but rather due to political polarization.
“I think it gives people comfort to assume that there must be a technological or a technical explanation for the issues of political polarization in the United States,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs said in a statement.
While it’s unclear whether the discrepancies are due to technological error or political polarization, what is clear is that Facebook could use some improvement.
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp became accessible to users once again at 6 p.m. EST on Monday, which was almost nothing compared to its last outage in 2019 that lasted 14 hours, according to Forbes.