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Science & Tech: Mark Zuckerberg To Earn $700m Annually From

SCIENCE & TECH: Mark Zuckerberg to earn $700M annually from Meta dividend amid child safety backlash

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Mark Zuckerberg will earn $700 million per year through Meta’s new quarterly dividend – an astronomical payout announced just one day after he faced outrage on Capitol Hill over a failure to protect children from online sex abuse and exploitation.

The 39-year-old tech tycoon’s payday stems from Meta’s plans disclosed late Thursday to pay a quarterly cash dividend of 50 cents per share of common stock beginning this March.

Since Zuckerberg owns about 350 million shares, he will rake in approximately $175 million per fiscal quarter before taxes, according to Bloomberg data – or $700 million annually.

The company also announced $50 billion in stock buybacks. Meta shares swelled 20% Friday to a record close of $474.99 — a stock move that sent Zuckerberg’s wealth soaring by $28 billion.

The windfall could further enrage critics who have argued for years that he has prioritized profits over child safety on Facebook and Instagram – despite warnings that kids are bombarded with disturbing content on topics like suicide and anorexia and disgusting messages from alleged predators.

Zuckerberg apologized to the families of victims of online abuse and exploitation. Allison Bailey/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“Shame on Mark Zuckerberg for prioritizing earning his next billion over the wellbeing and safety of the young people who make up his core user base,” said Josh Golin, executive director of online safety advocate Fairplay. “Rather than purchasing his 29th home, we hope he’ll use his new windfall to establish a victim’s compensation fund.”

Zuckerberg’s sudden surge in wealth “encapsulates the exact problem” with Meta’s business practices, according to Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

“Meta sees customers as an exploitable resource to mine for profit rather than human beings with fundamental human and civil rights. Until lawmakers intervene, CEOs will continue to prioritize their profit over people’s safety,” Ahmed said.

Meta representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.

As of Friday’s close, Zuckerberg ranked as the world’s fourth-richest person with an estimated net worth of $165 billion, according to CNBC. Before Friday, his wealth had increased by more than $14 billion since the start of this year alone.

The dividend amounts to a major surge in pay for Zuckerberg – who received $27.1 million in compensation in 2022, according to the most recent available disclosures. Much of that sum was tied to personal security costs since his base salary is just $1.

Zuckerberg faced hours of harsh attacks from a Senate panel earlier this week – with Sen. Lindsey Graham declaring that Meta had products that were “killing people” and Sen. Dick Durbin referring to the problem of online child exploitation as a “crisis in America.”

During one particularly heated segment with Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, an embattled Zuckerberg surprised the room after he stood up from his seat, turned to face the parents of victims in the audience, and apologized, stating: “No one should go through the things that your families have suffered.”

The parents of kids who were harmed or took their lives over online sex abuse were in attendance during the Senate hearing. Michael Brochstein/ZUMA Press Wire / SplashNews.com

Critics were not convinced by the surprise apology. New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez – whose state is suing Meta and Zuckerberg for failing to protect kids from alleged sex predators – blasted the mea culpa as “too little, too late” in an interview with The Post.

Meta has touted its efforts to improve online safety — including billions in spending on platform security and the rollout last month of features blocking underage users from receiving direct messages from strangers.

Meta revealed plans to pay out its first-ever dividend after a blowout quarter in which the social media giant beat Wall Street’s expectations for revenue and more than tripled its earnings compared to one year ago.

Meta will begin paying out dividends in March. AFP via Getty Images

The company’s profits have swelled since Zuckerberg ordered a companywide cost-cutting push. Meta’s global headcount was 67,317 as of Dec. 31, a decrease of 22% from the previous year, according to company filings.



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