This past May, Friends Fiduciary joined other investors and civil society stakeholders in asking Facebook’s largest institutional shareholders to ensure the company assesses and addresses its human right risks. Facebook has experienced increased scrutiny from regulators, law enforcement, and the public following its implication in election interference as well as promotion and/or exacerbation of misinformation and violence across the globe, including last year’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar.
As long-term investors, we believe Facebook’s lack of transparency poses risks to the bottom line. We joined many others in writing to its largest shareholders—asset managers such as BlackRock and Vanguard—asking those institutional investors to support calls at Facebook’s 2018 annual meeting for increased disclosure of the company’s work to manage and respond to these troubling implications for human and civil rights. Shareholders need this information to assess our own investment. Our concerns are only heightened by recent allegations around Facebook’s lobbying activity in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.