- Advertisers including Verizon, Honda, and Ben & Jerry's are boycotting Facebook over the social network's lack of hate-speech moderation. The boycott is sinking both Facebook's share price and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's net worth.
- Zuckerberg has a net worth of $82.3 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in the world.
- Zuckerberg drives an affordable car and wears basic clothes, but appears to splurge on real estate, buying houses and then buying the surrounding properties for privacy.
- Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are generous philanthropists, investing billions in childhood education and medical research that they hope will cure all diseases in their children's lifetimes.
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Mark Zuckerberg is a few billion dollars less rich as Facebook's advertiser boycott continues to grow.
Zuckerberg has faced fierce criticism for refusing to moderate Facebook posts in which President Trump called civil rights protesters "thugs" and suggested violence when he wrote, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
As a result, civil rights organizations including NAACP, Color of Change, and Anti-Defamation League asked advertisers to stop paying for advertisements on Facebook. Many agreed, sending both Facebook's share price and Zuckerberg's net worth into a freefall. (Zuckerberg's net worth peaked at $91.9 billion on June 23, according to Bloomberg; as of market close on June 28, the publication pegged his new estimated net worth at $82.3 billion.)
Keep reading to learn more about how the Facebook cofounder makes and spends his multibillion-dollar fortune.
In May 2012, eight years after its founding, Facebook debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. At the time, it was the biggest technology IPO in history.
Each year since the IPO, Zuckerberg has added an average of $9 billion to his net worth.
Despite his status as one of the richest tech moguls, the Harvard dropout leads a low-key lifestyle with his wife, Priscilla Chan, and their two young daughters.
He's also been spotted driving a black Volkswagen Golf GTI, a car that he bought well into making his fortune. It's a car that would cost about $30,000 when new.
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He also owns a townhouse in the Mission District of San Francisco. He bought the 5,500-square-foot home in 2013 and proceeded to make over $1 million in renovations, including adding a greenhouse and remodeling the kitchen.
Source: Curbed San Francisco
When Zuckerberg buys properties, he tends to buy the other homes surrounding it for privacy reasons, just like he has done in Palo Alto.
Privacy is likely the same reason that he bought the second home — and was reportedly in talks to buy a third — in Lake Tahoe.
Zuckerberg doesn't appear to travel much for pleasure. But when he does travel, Facebook foots the bill. Zuckerberg's security detail and transportation cost the company nearly $5 million in 2015.
However, he does occasionally get to spend time with his family while traveling. Zuckerberg and Chan met with the pope in the Vatican and reportedly gave the pope a model Facebook drone.
Zuckerberg used over $1 million in Facebook funds for personal travel in 2018, making it his most expensive year yet. While in Europe, he posted about celebrating his seventh anniversary with Chan at the Parthenon in Athens.
The costs to protect Zuckerberg rose to over $7 million in 2017, after he spent the summer traversing America as part of his personal goal to visit every US state in a year.
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In 2018, Facebook approved a record-high $10 million annual security budget for Zuckerberg for bodyguards, security measures for his houses, and private aircraft.
Ultimately, opulence and luxury are just a blip on Zuckerberg's radar. In fact, his main priority is giving his money away, rather than spending it.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a philanthropic organization Zuckerberg founded with his wife in 2015 focused on "personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people, and building strong communities."
In 2017, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative partnered with housing startup Landed, giving $5 million to help at least 60 teachers in Redwood City and East Palo Alto, California, purchase real estate.
The couple's charitable initiative is invested in tackling both local and global issues. In 2016, Zuckerberg and Chan invested $3 billion into research focused on curing the world's diseases by the end of the century.
"A bunch of people have the reaction of 'Oh, that's obviously going to happen on its own — why don't you just spend your time doing something else?' And then a bunch of people have the reaction of 'Oh, that seems almost impossible — why are you setting your sights so high?'"
In order to accomplish this lofty goal, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative launched a $3 billion nonprofit called Biohub to start looking into the cure of disease, including research on genomics, infectious diseases and implantable devices.
The scientists their nonprofit employed have started a study of brain-machine devices, including one called the Wand, which is an implant they say can help limit the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson's and epilepsy.
Zuckerberg believes that his nonprofit will help speed up research to cure disease, and says that in the future, "we'll basically have been able to manage or cure all of the major things that people suffer from and die from today. Based on the data that we already see, it seems like there's a reasonable shot."
Zuckerberg faced outrage from his employees and Facebook users alike after refusing to moderate Trump's posts, where the president called civil rights protesters "thugs" and suggested violence against them by writing "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." One employee of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative even asked Zuckerberg to resign if the billionaire didn't moderate the posts.
Led by civil rights organizations including NAACP, Color of Change, and Anti-Defamation League, Facebook advertisers revolted too, pulling their ad spending from Facebook in a coordinated boycott beginning in July. The growing boycott wiped $9.6 billion off Zuckerberg's net worth between June 23 and June 28.
The Hershey Co., Unilever, Verizon, Honda, Birchbox, Ben & Jerry's, The North Face, REI, and Patagonia have all signed on, vowing to withhold their ad dollars from the social networking site.
"We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies," Facebook said in a statement regarding the boycott. "We've opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram."
"The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90% of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube," the statement continued. "We know we have more work to do, and we'll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight."