Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly hired 16 bodyguards to protect him at his $7 million home in Palo Alto, California as a response to online threats.
Zuckerberg is now so concerned about security that he has the bodyguards working in shifts day and night. He is among a number of young tech billionaires in Silicon Valley who have increased security after receiving disturbing messages online, from unstable users.
“He has guards over at his place. You’re touching hundreds of millions of people, all the CEOs get threats, and they take them very seriously,” a Silicon Valley source told Page Six.
The source also said the threats sometimes target family members as well, noting that affairs or flirtations involving Facebook have reportedly become a main reason for romantic breakups and divorces, breeding a growing number of people who resent the website.
Residents living near Zuckerberg’s $10 million house in Liberty Hill, San Francisco, around 30 miles from Palo Alto, have been complaining about his security detail in recent weeks.
In a letter written by one of his neighbors, Zuckerberg was accused of allowing his security detail to ‘permanently’ and ‘illegally’ occupy two prime parking spots in the area. However, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg denied that the parking was illegal.
Last month, Facebook announced that it had 1.56 billion users. Also in August last year, Facebook said more than one billion people used the site in a day, setting a new record for the social networking site.
Mark Zuckerberg is now worth a record of $47.1bn, more than four times richer than the second-richest person in the US under the age of 40.
Since he became internationally known, Zuckerberg has taken expensive steps to ensure his privacy.
In 2013, it was announced that he had bought four houses surrounding his own Palo Alto mansion for a total of $30million after he discovered that a real estate developer was planning on buying one of the properties and was advertising it as being next to Zuckerberg’s house.
However, that led to complications when one of the sellers accused Zuckerberg of backing out on an agreement, and filed a lawsuit against him.