It took Facebook a total of six years after its launch to reach a $50 billion market value and just two days to lose that same amount after the social media giant was caught up in an international data breach scandal.
As CNN Money noted, Facebook’s stock fell sharply for the second day in a row after news that Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis company that helped Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, accessed information for more than 50 million users and used it to micro-target them with political advertisements.
This week, Channel 4 News in the U.K. aired a series of investigative reports on Cambridge Analytica, revealing that the company bragged about using prostitutes to entrap politicians and took credit for Trump’s victory by micro-targeting voters based on Facebook activity, including what pages they liked. This led to a backlash against Facebook, including a viral campaign calling on users to delete their social media pages.
Facebook’s stock has taken a major hit in the two days since the report first surfaced, with stock sinking both on Monday and Tuesday and leading to a $50 billion loss in market value.
As Tech Crunch noted, it took nearly six years from the site’s founding in 2004 until late 2010 before Facebook reached a total of $50 billion in market value. That amount was lost in less than 48 hours this week, starting with the opening of markets on Monday.
It is not clear when the losses could stop for Facebook. Lawmakers in both the United States and U.K. have called on Mark Zuckerberg to testify about the company’s data practices. Zuckerberg, who holds close to 400 million shares of the company’s stock, saw his own personal net worth sink by $6.8 billion this week, CNN Money noted.
The campaign calling on users to delete Facebook also continues to build steam, with some sites even posting instructions on how people can completely eliminate their Facebook pages.
Amid the growing data scandal and the growing questions for the company, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has remained largely silent, not issuing any personal statement or responding to calls that he testify about the company’s practices. As Fox News reported, he was also not present at the company’s internal meeting about Cambridge Analytica held on Tuesday.