Amid Facebook Ad Boycott, Mark Zuckerberg Drops Out of Top Three Richest People in the World

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped out as one of the three richest people in the world this week, after the social media platform founder lost $7.2 billion as a result of a concerted advertising pullout from the company.

The value of Facebook Inc. fell by $56 billion Friday, amid a growing list of advertisers both large and small announced they would boycott the social network throughout the month of July.

Zuckerberg personally addressed employees via town hall Friday following reports of the massive withdrawal of ad revenue from companies including Verizon, Unilever, Coca-Cola and The North Face. About 100 brands have joined the "#StopHateForProfit" campaign, which protests "Facebook's repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms."

Zuckerberg's personal net worth fell more than $7.2 billion heading into the weekend, dropping him to fourth place on Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of the average American is $187,300.

The Facebook co-founder is still worth $82.3 billion despite the sudden loss, which allowed Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault to claim Zuckerberg's third-place spot on the richest people list. Microsoft founder Bill Gates remains in second place with $111 billion, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is still the richest person on earth with more than $161 billion.

Facebook's stock price plunged more than 8 percent by market's close on Friday, with shares expected to cost $212.50 apiece Monday morning. The concerted pullout of advertising prompted Zuckerberg to announce the company will do more to protect migrants, refugees and other minority groups from hate speech -- particularly from politicians.

Newsweek reached out to Facebook for any additional comments Saturday.

Facebook was hit with a barrage of criticism for not following Twitter's lead earlier this month in flagging a social media post from President Donald Trump that warned George Floyd protesters: "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Zuckerberg penned a lengthy Facebook post Friday detailing steps the company will take in the future to flag potentially hateful or threatening content:

"We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case. We'll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what's acceptable in our society -- but we'll add a prompt to tell people that the content they're sharing may violate our policies," Zuckerberg wrote.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has joined several politicians in criticizing Facebook's controversial decision to allow political candidates to "post anything they want." Zuckerberg has defended the move, saying the public needs to have open discourse about such topics, which may potentially be outright falsehoods.

Facebook has been targeted by accusations of political bias from both sides of the aisle since the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

mark zuckerberg facebook net worth
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of the three richest people in the world this week as the social media platform's founder lost $7.2 billion from a concerted advertising pull-out from the company. Screenshot: Facebook | Mark Zuckerberg