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Facebook’s Pain Continues: Stock Drops, Zuckerberg Stays Silent, Regulators Want Answers

Company execs will head to Washington on Wednesday to address Cambridge Analytica fallout

Things didn’t get better for Facebook on Tuesday.

Mired in the continued fallout from the revelation that data firm Cambridge Analytica grabbed information on 50 million unwitting users, shares of the social network took another hit, falling 2.5 percent to $168.15 a share — after dipping more than 5 percent in early-morning trading.

That comes one day after Facebook cratered nearly 7 percent on Wall Street, it’s biggest single-day plunge in four years. Since the Cambridge Analytica news broke on Friday night, about $52 billion has been shaved off Facebook’s market cap.

And as critics have blasted the company for its massive leak, Facebook’s two biggest names have been missing-in-action: Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

After admitting more than 100 million users saw Russian propaganda before and after the 2016 election last fall, Zuckerberg said “protecting our community is more important than maximizing profits.” So far, the 33-year-old exec hasn’t weighed in on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but The Verge reported he might address the company on Friday during its weekly all-hands meeting.

At the same time, Zuckerberg’s silence has been deafening to regulators and government officials. British Parliament on Tuesday called for Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook’s “catastrophic failure” in stopping its data leak. Of course, American politicians took their opportunity to blast Facebook as well. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants to hear from Zuckerberg as well, with an emphasis on Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in President Trump’s successful 2016 campaign.

“I think it’s time for the CEO, Mr. Zuckerberg, and other top officials to come and testify and not tell part of the story, but tell the whole story of their involvement — not only with the Trump campaign but their ability to have their platform misused by the Russians,” Sen. Warner told ABC News.

Facebook is also in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission, which plans on probing the company, according to Bloomberg. An FTC representative did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“We remain strongly committed to protecting people’s information,” Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, told TheWrap. “We appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have.”

Moving forward, Congressional investigators might soon get their wish, with Facebook officials prepared to talk  with the House Judiciary Committee as early as Wednesday, according to sources familiar with the matter.