Facebook Shares Continue Drop Despite Mark Zuckerberg Apology

Social network loses $60 billion in value in less than a week

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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Mark Zuckerberg’s mea culpa hasn’t stopped Facebook’s Wall Street slide.

The social network dipped another 2.8 percent in early morning trading on Thursday, despite its chief exec taking a mini-media tour to address the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data leak. Zuckerberg told CNN on Wednesday night he’s “really sorry” 50 million users unwittingly had their information harvested by Cambridge Analytica in 2014 — something Facebook failed to publicly address until it was reported by the New York Times late last week.

Since closing at $185 a share last Friday, Facebook’s stock has taken a beating, falling to about $165 a share on Thursday, wiping out more than $60 billion off the company’s market cap in the process. (Even after its week from hell, Facebook is still worth more than $470 billion.)

Zuckerberg’s Wednesday apology followed up an apology-less 900-word post he made earlier in the day, outlining several steps the company would be taking to protect user data. Moving forward, Zuckerberg said Facebook will audit “suspicious activity” from apps, report when user data has been misused, and turn off app access to profiles after they’ve went unused for three months. Facebook will also restrict app access to strictly a user’s name, profile photo, and email address, unless receiving “approval” from Facebook.

With criticism mounting Facebook’s 33-year-old chief exec hadn’t addressed the leak in five days, Zuckerberg ended Wednesday by granting interviews to Recode, Wired, and the New York Times, along with an appearance on CNN. When asked by The Times why Facebook waited to suspend Cambridge Analytica until this past weekend, despite knowing since 2015 the firm had broken its terms of service, Zuckerberg insisted the company took “immediate action” by banning the apps it had taken its data from, and required the firm to delete its lifted data. With recent reports from The Times calling into question whether Cambridge Analytica followed through on erasing its data, Zuckerberg expressed regret Facebook didn’t demand proof.

Zuckerberg also weighed in on the trending #DeleteFacebook hashtag:

“I don’t think we’ve seen a meaningful number of people act on that, but, you know, it’s not good,” Zuckerberg told The Times. “I think it’s a clear signal that this is a major trust issue for people, and I understand that. And whether people delete their app over it or just don’t feel good about using Facebook, that’s a big issue that I think we have a responsibility to rectify.”