Mark Zuckerberg’s stock rose 4.5% amid congressional hearings on Facebook and Cambridge Analytica
On Tuesday, April 10, Mark Zuckerberg spent five hours answering questions from more than 40 U.S. senators about how data from 87 million users could have been stolen and used by Cambridge Analytica for political purposes.
While members of Congress inundated Zuckerberg with questions related to Facebook’s negligence in cracking down on publications calling for violence in Myanmar and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company’s stock rose 4.5% and was worth $165.04 a share by the time the stock closed. Facebook, according to CNN, had its best trading day in two years.
Zuckerberg, whose fortune fell in March in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, was the top performer in the Forbes Real-Time World Billionaire Index. Stock market growth added $2.8 billion to his fortune, which now stands at $66 billion, making him the seventh richest person in the world. Zuckerberg owns more than 16% of Facebook.
According to Brent Till, managing director of Jefferies, which handles Facebook’s affairs, investors were pleased with Zuckerberg’s answers to the senators’ questions. “Bad news reflects strongly on the stock,” Till said. – Zuckerberg gave good answers to tough questions. His comments exceeded expectations.”
Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook has been “slow” to respond to reports that his network played a central role in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, calling it “one of the biggest regrets.” He also told Congress that he is open to future regulation of Facebook if it is the “right” regulation. “It was a balanced discussion with little ‘new news,'” Till said of the congressional hearing.
Zuckerberg’s fortune has fallen by nearly $13 billion, to $61 billion, in the ten days since March 17, when news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal first broke. On March 26, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced an investigation into Facebook’s privacy issues.
A week later, on April 4, Facebook discovered that Cambridge Analytica had access to the data of 87 million users, not the 50 million previously reported. Two days later, Zuckerberg published a message outlining the social network’s new advertising policy to prevent interference in future elections through his site. The new rules require Facebook to label political ads and require advertisers to confirm identities and addresses. Zuckerberg will return to Capitol Hill today for questioning by members of the Energy and Commerce Committee.