Yesterday is a day that will go down in tech history forever. It was the day in which crazy aunts were denied their favorite place to spread misinformation about the COVID vaccine being a secret plot to implant 5G chips in our brains. The day high school mean girls across the nation struggled to recruit random strangers to their pyramid scheme business. Facebook, and several Facebook-owned platforms, went dark for about six hours. But it wasn’t just Facebook’s user engagement numbers that dropped but also Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth. The poor man found himself in the embarrassing position of losing $7 billion in one day, which means his net worth is now only (horrified gasp) a paltry $120.9 billion.
Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went dark starting at around 11:45 am Eastern time yesterday, and remained that way for most of the day. Facebook addressed that they were having outages and that they were working really hard to get everything back on track. It was a day that will be known henceforth as The Day the Minions Memes Went Dark.
We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
— Facebook (@Facebook) October 4, 2021
It still isn’t really known what happened at Facebook HQ to cause the platform-wide blackout. But a tech reporter for The New York Times reported that the blackout was allegedly happening on the inside too, conspiracy theorists be damned.
Not only are Facebook's services and apps down for the public, its internal tools and communications platforms, including Workplace, are out as well. No one can do any work. Several people I've talked to said this is the equivalent of a "snow day" at the company.
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) October 4, 2021
A ha ha, yes, a snow day! I’m sure Facebook’s platform-wide blackout had nothing to do with former Facebook project manager-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen who was scheduled to be testifying in front of the US Senate committee regarding Facebook’s alleged “profits over people” policy and deliberate refusal to address the harm that Facebook and Instagram cause to their users. An accusation we’ve heard many times before from other people. Nope, just a coincidence.
FULL OPENING STATEMENT:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 5, 2021
We’ll have to wait and see what Frances Haugen’s testimony does to Facebook’s stock prices. But right now, we know that six-hour blackout caused things to get messier than…well, a Boomer doing all their “research” on Facebook. via Business Insider:
Zuckerberg’s net worth dipped by $7 billion in a matter of hours as a stock selloff prompted Facebook to fall by roughly 5%. Zuckerberg’s wealth has now dropped to $120.9 billion, making him the fifth-richest person in the world behind Bill Gates, according to Bloomberg’s Scott Carpenter.
Zuckerberg had previously risen as high as No. 3 on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, but his net worth has been sliding for several weeks: Since September 13, Zuckerberg has lost $19 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Mark Zuckerberg is deeply sorry for any inconvenience that the blackout might have caused. He posted an apology to Facebook, which was quickly met with people calling him out. He wrote:
“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.”
Mark Zuckerberg is blasted for his late and self-aggrandizing apology for seven-hour social media blackout https://t.co/PHoJQ9TIwN
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) October 5, 2021
The Daily Mail points out that quite a few people accused Mark of arrogantly believing that Facebook is right up there on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs along with water, food, and shelter. Some side-eyed his claim that people rely on Facebook, rather than using it as nothing more than an excellent way to kill time or look up exes. A few pointed out that with Facebook down, people were forced to communicate in person. However, others have noted that for those with family overseas or in areas with low connectivity, WhatsApp or Messenger is sometimes the only way to communicate with relatives.
All I know for sure is that with Instagram down, I realized how addicted I am to ASMR soap-cutting videos. But I’m not the victim here. If anyone is the victim, it’s Mark Zuckerberg! A man who is currently marginally less rich than Bill Gates. How embarrassing. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have probably already offered to buy him some groceries and put gas in his car. Now that Mark Zuckerberg is $7 billion poorer, he won’t be able to show his face in Silicon Valley again. To be fair, he’s already pretty adept at not showing his face.