Just as Facebook’s image has taken a beating in 2018, so has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth.
Zuckerberg’s net worth began 2018 at about $75 billion, but barring any strange twists in the final days of the year, he will end the year about $15 billion below that, Time reported.
Although all billionaires face ups and downs, the slide Zuckerberg took in 2018 made him suffer a worse loss than anyone else among the 500 richest people in the world.
The source of the volatility Zuckerberg experienced is also the source of his wealth — he owns 13 percent of Facebook’s stock.
The year was also hard on Zuckerberg and Facebook when it came to their images.
Facebook has coped with a variety of issues in 2018, from recurring major data breaches in which users’ personal information has been up for grabs to questions about Facebook’s role in the 2016 election. Political pressure on the social media giant could become even worse.
A group of Senate Democrats recently chided Facebook for refusing to fully come clean about who pays for political ads, Roll Call reported last week.
“More than a year ago, after news reports revealed that Russian agents used Facebook to spread inflammatory posts to over 126 million Facebook users, Facebook promised Congress that it would provide additional disclosures on political ads,” said the letter, signed by Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey as well as Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also signed the letter.
“Yet, you continue to take in ad revenue from companies cloaked in secrecy. Although no legal requirement exists mandating that political advertisers on social media platforms file disclosures with the Federal Election Commission, you could take it upon yourself to mirror the laws that exist for radio and television ads,” the letter stated.
“We believe you also have a moral responsibility to ensure that your users are able to discern who and what is behind political ads shown on your platform. Such transparency will help ensure open and fair elections, free of dark money or foreign interference.”
Facebook’s latest breach, which allowed access to users’ photos even before they were shared, could result in a $1.6 billion fine, the U.K. Telegraph reported, Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, called the incident “stunning” and “like a provider sending draft emails.”
Collectively, many users share thoughts akin to those voiced by tech policy and politics writer David McCabe on Axios.
“This year Facebook made a habit of waiting to disclose privacy issues to the public or, after damaging stories broke, failing to get ahead of questions it would inevitably face,” he wrote.
“The company’s critics have highlighted Facebook’s attempts to avoid public scrutiny — and its tactic of releasing bad news late on Fridays or holidays.
“The bottom line: Facebook’s halting responses to crisis or controversy has been a defining quality of the company this year, and often made bad situations worse.”
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