For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Stefanie Spear, sspear@asyousow.org, 216-387-1609

Shareholders Call for #RebootFacebook to Put Company on Path to Democracy, Decency, and Disclosure

WASHINGTON - Shareholder advocacy non-profit As You Sow filed a comprehensive shareholder resolution today with Facebook, asking the social media giant to #RebootFacebook to bring decency, democracy, and disclosure back to the brand and all of its customers and shareowners.

Investors are gravely concerned over Facebook’s governance, which has allowed Russian bots to influence the 2016 U.S. elections, Myanmar military personnel to incite genocide, 45 million images of child pornography and torture to be released on the web, and hate speech, anti-immigrant violence, and purchasing of weapons to proliferate. Even Facebook’s employees are calling for change.

“Facebook has lost its way,” said As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar. “It’s time for a reboot, a fresh start, in which Facebook management and board voluntarily clean up the policies that allow destructive and immoral practices to thrive; replacing them with a set of self-regulating standards that preserve our democracy and reweave our social fabric.”

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Shareholders are specifically requesting management and the board to “Reboot Facebook,” making the following changes by Labor Day 2020:

  • Delete all images of child pornography and torture, remove all associated accounts, and work with law enforcement to bring abusers to justice;
  • Delete all fake accounts and establish a verification system to improve expeditious removal;
  • Delete all political ads containing lies and mistruths based on Facebook employee recommendations to avoid adverse impact on our political system;
  • Publicly agree to a policy stating that Facebook will abide by campaign advertising rules like all U.S. broadcasters 
  • End micro-targeting of groups smaller than 5,000 people;
  • As a show of Goodwill and until the platform can be effectively monitored, disallow any political ads starting Labor Day through the 2020 election.  
  • Provide full transparency of the Reboot process including listing deleted political ads, Bots, fake accounts, fake news, deep fakes, and accounts closed. 
  • Disclose budget committed to fix these issues to inform other platforms as a case study of best practices.
  • Establish systems to maintain all of the above going forward with public transparency

“Facebook should demonstrate to its customers and investors how a responsible company operates to protect all stakeholders, repair brand reputation, improve platform integrity, adopt self-regulation, and avoid the destruction of shareholder value,” Behar continued. “A Facebook reboot can start a new era of responsible operation to preserve decency, democracy, and disclosure.”

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As You Sow is the nation’s non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit.

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.

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