Free Press Joins National Shareholder Push for Governance Reforms at Meta
WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Free Press announced that it’s joining a national effort to mobilize support for corporate governance reforms at Meta in advance of the company’s annual general meeting next week. The #MakeMarkListen campaign is organizing activists and advocacy organizations to demand oversight and accountability at Meta on behalf of the general public and shareholders who have been victims of countless harms due to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s record of mismanagement.
As part of the campaign, Free Press is endorsing two resolutions that will be considered at the May 25 meeting and is encouraging shareholders to vote in support of each:
- The first resolution (Proposal #14), offered by Harrington Investments, the Park Foundation and SumOfUs, mandates a performance review of Meta’s audit and risk committee and its performance in overseeing company risks to public safety and the public interest.
- The second resolution (Proposal #9), filed by Arjuna Capital, SHARE, Storebrand and SumOfUs, calls on the board of directors to commission a third-party assessment of its metaverse project, specifically focused on the potential harms to users stemming from abuses of the platform.
A steady flow of recent scandals and controversies has taken its toll on Meta. Between whistleblower Frances Haugen’s complaints to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a fall in future earnings projections, and a single-day valuation loss of more than $230 billion, it has become clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s reckless approach has led to misconduct and dysfunction.
His failure to rein in abuses across Meta’s business empire has harmed people and democracies worldwide. The company intentionally hides vital information from the public, from its shareholders and from governments around the world, misleading these parties about its research on adolescent safety, artificial intelligence and Facebook’s role in spreading hateful and deceitful messages.
Free Press Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights Nora Benavidez said:
“For years, Free Press has been pressuring Zuckerberg to do better, but neither he nor his fellow C-Suite executives have done a thing to convince us that they’re serious about rooting out the hate and disinformation that have made Meta’s platforms so toxic.
“We’ve been hoping to see more accountability about the outsized role Meta plays in shaping beliefs and behavior, and the many harms it’s caused and facilitated in real life. Instead we keep seeing PR tactics designed to distract us from the absence of real change. And we see Zuckerberg delivering the same old talking points as he refuses to meet our demands.
“These harms include fanning the flames of the genocide against the Rohingya people in Myanmar and against ethnic minorities in Ethiopia. In the United States, Facebook has profited from political ads that dehumanize and stoke fear about immigrants and Black and Brown people. The company has also used discriminatory algorithms so that housing, employment and other economic opportunities weren’t made visible to marginalized communities.
“Zuckerberg’s unwillingness to prioritize people over profits has wreaked havoc on our democracy. And now this mismanagement is damaging Meta’s value, provoking a growing number of shareholders to demand long-overdue reforms. Genuine transparency, accountability and oversight should begin at the top. Investors must endorse these two resolutions to rein in Zuckerberg and repair Meta.”