shareholder meeting on Thursday was a heated affair,
as investors vented their frustrations over the social
network’s handling of recent scandals.
privacy is a human right … then we contend that
Facebook’s poor stewardship of user data is tantamount
to a human rights violation,” stated Christine Jantz,
chief investment officer at Northstar Asset
Management, which is a Facebook investor.
risked becoming a “corporate dictatorship,” James
McRitchie, a Facebook investor, said to Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg, take a page from history,” McRitchie
added. “Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir
is a good way to ‘hold us accountable’
harsh remarks stemmed from recent controversies,
including the Cambridge Analytica scandal that
engulfed the company earlier this year. In mid-March,
reports emerged thatCambridge
Analytica, a political consulting firm that shut down
earlier this month, had acquired Facebook user data
sold by researcher Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan had
developed a personality quiz app on Facebook called
This is Your Digital Life that surveyed 270,000 users.
of the high level of access Facebook gave developers
at the time, Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest
the data of the friends of those 270,000 users,
affecting up to 87 million individuals in all. The
ensuing fallout from the controversy saw Facebook get
hammered in the media and on Wall Street.
Zuckerberg hammered by shareholders over
CEO faces the press, unhappy advertisers and
frustrated lawmakers in the US and EU. Next up:
being run like a "dictatorship." Its
disclosures have been "inadequate." The
scandals it's faced are "not good for the
company's bottom line."
just a sampling of the statements
investors made during a shareholder
meeting Facebook held Thursday, marking
the first time that co-founder and CEOMark
taken public questions from investors.
privacy is a human right -- as
stated by Microsoft's CEO --
then we contend that Facebook's poor
stewardship of user data is tantamount to
a human rights violation," said Christine
Jantz, chief investment officer at
Facebook investor Northstar Asset
Management, in a statement during the
were expressing their frustration with the
34-year-old billionaire who has been
scrambling to containa
string of scandals. The
wave of unrest was touched off by
revelations that profile data on as many
as 87 million Facebook users was leaked to
a Trump campaign-connected political
Analytica. It's left the social
network's reputation in tatters and
Zuckerberg trying to fix it.
big thing we're focused on is that we take
a broader view of our responsibility to
the community we serve," Zuckerberg said
before taking questions from shareholders.
He added that Facebook spent much of its
first 14 years as a company focused on
"the good" its service does, such as
connecting people to help victims of
he acknowledged that it's time for
Facebook to work harder to protect its
users from bad behavior as well. He noted
that the company is amping up security so
much that it will affect profitability. So
be it, he said: "We believe that is the
right thing to do for our community."
proposal, for example, asked investors to
consider changing the voting structure of
Facebook's stock so that one share equals
one vote. Currently, Zuckerberg and a
small group of insiders have a special
class of stock that allows them to control
70 percent of voting power at Facebook,even
though they own just 18 percent of
shares in the company. The result of
the vote could be that shareholders are
able to second-guess Zuckerberg and his
management team more often.
shareholders ultimately voted against it.
proposals, which Facebook's shareholders
also voted against, included creating a
risk oversight committee, commissioning a
report on Facebook's efforts to reduce the
gender pay gap, and setting a simple
majority vote on proposals so they can be
approved more easily.
meetings are typically low-key affairs.
Typically, some investors jostle for new
ways of doing things, but overwhelmingly
little actually changes and executives
spend time answering offbeat questions.
was not that type of meeting.
the civil rights icon Rev.
to speak, raising concerns about how
Facebook's service was twisted by Russian
propagandists to spread disinformation.
Zuckerberg responded that he has
confidence in Facebook's ability to
prevent election meddling in the future.
today's top news and reviews collected
pushed back on that assertion, saying that
content reviewers are spread across the
world, but added, "Having different voices
is incredibly important."
with us on these issues," one of the
shareholders pleaded near the end of the
meeting. "We are on the same team. We're
looking for win-wins."
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