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Facebook down: Outage leads CEO Mark Zuckerberg to lose billions as stocks tumble

Seven-hour global outage of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp caused by internal error resolved, but costs company and Zuckerberg billions
Representational photo (Carl Court/Getty Images)
Representational photo (Carl Court/Getty Images)

Facebook's group of apps are back online after a seven-hour global outage on October 4. MEAWW can confirm that most aspects of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are now working for most people, but some errors still remain. The shocking outage, caused by an internal error, has set the company back by more than a few billions, but they aren't the only ones suffering. It appears Mark Zuckerberg's net worth has taken a hit as well, and it's way more than a few billion dollars.

The outage led to a huge meme fest on Twitter, as users rushed to alternatives to remain connected. There are rumors that the shutdown was caused by whistleblower Frances Haugen, but that remains a conspiracy theory as of now. It caps a difficult couple of weeks for the company after a bombshell report was dropped in early September noting the platform was allowing 'VIPs' to post banned content


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As it has in the past, it appears Facebook will emerge from the ashes of the controversy relatively unscathed. But it may not be so easy this time. The outage has hit Facebook where it hurts - its value. As the company scrambled to fix the issue, its share price took a massive hit, as did the value of the global economy. Just how much you ask? Well, the numbers are truly staggering.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the opening keynote address at the f8 Developer Conference on April 21, 2010, in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


How much did Zuckerberg and Facebook lose?

At the closing bell on October 1, Facebook's value was $967 billion. By the closing bell on October 4, it had tumbled to $916 billion, i.e. a loss of 5%. The loss of $50 billion is likely to have a huge impact on the company that made $29.08 billion in the second quarter of 2021. At the time of publishing, the company's stock price was at $326.23, down from $343.01 on October 1. It's a massive drop-off for Facebook, especially given that its stock price has been falling slowly since mid-September.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg also suffered heavily due to the tumble. He's already lost around $5.9 billion, and that amount is expected to increase if the share price keeps falling. Forbes now tracks Zuckerberg as the world's sixth-richest person, with a net worth of $116.8 billion (at the time of publication). October 4 has been a bad day for almost all of the 10 richest people barring Elon Musk and Mukesh Ambani, but no one comes as close to Zuckerberg's 4.81% loss. 

A 5-day view of Facebook's stock price, with a massive fall caused by the outage on October 4, 2021.

But it's not just Zuckerberg and Facebook who lost big on October 4. The massive global outage has also had a significant effect on the global economy, given Facebook's central role in digital commerce. Net Blocks estimated that the outage has wiped out over $3 billion from the global economy as well so far. Facebook's outage alone cost over $1 billion, with Instagram and WhatsApp contributing over $2.5 billion. With some systems still down, that value is also expected to rise. 

If anything, the data indicates just how central Facebook is to the global economy. It has also led to calls from far-left politicians like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to break up the company, an argument many have been making for years. The issue appears to have been resolved by a manual reset of the servers in Santa Clara, and most people are now able to access Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.