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

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Leading the data race

The trends driving the future of data science

Download now

How to create 1:1 customer experiences at scale

Meet the technology capable of delivering the personalisation your customers crave

Download now

How to achieve daily SAP releases

Accelerate the pace of SAP change to support your digital strategy

Download now

Recommended

Facebook Campus allows students to connect with classmates
social media

Facebook Campus allows students to connect with classmates

11 Sep 2020
Facebook Oversight Board: Excessive social media regulations could impact freedom of speech
social media

Facebook Oversight Board: Excessive social media regulations could impact freedom of speech

4 Sep 2020
Apple delays iOS 14 privacy changes after Facebook pressure
privacy

Apple delays iOS 14 privacy changes after Facebook pressure

4 Sep 2020
Facebook unveils new vulnerability disclosure policy
vulnerability

Facebook unveils new vulnerability disclosure policy

4 Sep 2020

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

16 Sep 2020
The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go
Cloud

The Xbox Series X shows how far the cloud still has to go

25 Sep 2020