Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg told to 'emulate George Washington not Vladimir Putin' at shareholder meeting

Investors blame Cambridge Analytica data scandal on skewed power dynamics

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's board of directors faced an onslaught of shareholder outrage as activist investors tried to force a change of governance at the annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

A few minutes into the meeting, a shareholder was removed for repeated interruptions complaining about how she and her peers could not speak until after the voting.

Investors had called for a vote on six initiatives that would even out the power structure within the company, but as the voting system was already skewed, all of the issues were dropped.

Officially, that is, as shareholders still had plenty to say against Facebook, reported The Guardian

"Mr Zuckerberg, take a page from history," said attendant James Ritchie, who seemingly critiqued Zuckerberg's leadership style. "Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin."

Concerns from the shareholders were also raised over Facebook's inability and lacklustre commitment in tackling fake accounts and abusive posts, its part in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and the lack of diversity in its corporate ranks. 

"If privacy is a human right, as stated by Microsoft's CEO, then we contend that Facebook's poor stewardship of customer data is tantamount to a human rights violation," said Christine Jantz of Northstar Asset Management.

Jantz wanted to change the voting structure, which gives Zuckerberg's shares ten times the voting power even though he doesn't own a majority of the company. She blamed the Cambridge Analytica scandal on this system, and another shareholder called it a "corporate dictatorship".

For his part, Zuckerberg effectually repeated his statements from appearances in US Congress and European parliament, going over the same initiatives to stop the spread of propaganda and fake accounts on Facebook.

"The big theme we're focused on is making sure we take a broader view of our responsibility to everyone we serve," he said.

The only new comment came from COO Sheryl Sandberg, who revealed Facebook's adoption of a "diverse slate approach", which will require hiring managers to look at candidates from underrepresented groups to fill a position.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

Big tech companies put political donations on hold following Capitol riots
Business strategy

Big tech companies put political donations on hold following Capitol riots

12 Jan 2021
The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation
social media

The IT Pro Podcast: The power of disinformation

11 Dec 2020
Justice Department sues Facebook for discriminating against US workers
Policy & legislation

Justice Department sues Facebook for discriminating against US workers

7 Dec 2020
CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google face Senate hearing
Policy & legislation

CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google face Senate hearing

28 Oct 2020

Most Popular

School laptops sent by government arrive loaded with malware
malware

School laptops sent by government arrive loaded with malware

21 Jan 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

21 Jan 2021
What is the Raspberry Pi Pico?
Hardware

What is the Raspberry Pi Pico?

21 Jan 2021