Meta Platforms (Fb) Wants Third-Occasion Evaluation of Metaverse Consumer Dangers and Advisory Shareholder Vote

Shareholder proposal submitted following testimony from whistleblowers, antitrust litigation and congressional hearings challenging Meta’s ability to regulate Metaverse technology

BOSTON, December 13, 2021 – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse is being questioned by shareholders who fear it will create “dystopian drawbacks” and investment risks.

In response to announced plans by Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) to invest billions of dollars in the long-term development of a Metaverse project, the company will face a voting right at its shareholders’ meeting in May 2022 urging it to hire a third party Assess “the potential psychological and civil and human rights harm to users that may be caused by the use and abuse of the platform, and whether the harm can be mitigated, avoided, or is unavoidable risks inherent in the technology.” Following this assessment, it was decided that the company should hold a special shareholder advisory vote that would allow investors to express their opinion on whether the further implementation of the project is “prudent or appropriate”.

The resolution was submitted by the investment management company Arjuna Capital together with co-submitters Storebrand Asset Management, SHARE and SumOfUs. It was developed with support from Open MIC, which works with shareholders to promote the accountability of companies in the technology and media sectors.

“The transformation from Facebook (Meta) to the Metaverse is not a fait accompli,” said Natasha Lamb, managing partner of Arjuna Capital, who has worked with Facebook for five years. “With antitrust litigation, testimonies from whistleblowers, congressional hearings, and abysmal governance practices, investors are seriously questioning Zuckerberg’s ability to lead this transformation and whether Facebook has the social license to operate a potentially dangerous new technology. The same problems as Facebook. ”Expecting discrimination, violations of human and civil rights, incitement to violence and violations of privacy is only increased in the metaverse. It is for this reason that investors need to understand the extent of this potential harm and weigh whether this is a good idea before we throw good money after bad. “

The story goes on

The much damage caused by Meta’s current social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram – has sparked controversy around the world. The shareholder resolution cites an October 2021 investigation by the Wall Street Journal, based on hundreds of internal documents provided by a Facebook whistleblower, which revealed the company’s failure to proactively and effectively address this damage. The Journal series concluded, “Facebook Inc. knows full well that its platforms are full of bugs that do harm, often in ways that only the company fully understands.”

According to the shareholders’ resolution, Meta is relying on the Metaverse project “his future”. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will spend at least $ 10 billion on Metaverse investments in 2021, about 50 percent of capital spending, with more future spending planned.

Kamil Zabielski, Head of Sustainable Investment at Storebrand Asset Management, said: “As a shareholder, Storebrand is concerned that if the Metaverse project is not properly assessed, it could exacerbate many of the challenges the company is currently facing. It is vital for Meta-Platforms / Facebook to thoroughly assess the Metaverse Project’s human rights impact, outline how they will mitigate potential harm, and engage their stakeholders to develop a pathway that will generate trust among the Users and society at large. “

“Without due diligence and diligence, Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the ‘metaverse’ risks becoming a dystopian nightmare for the public and investors,” said Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, manager, corporate engagement & advocacy, SHARE (the Canadian Shareholder Association for Research & Education).

“The SumOfUs community is outraged by the impact Meta’s platforms are already having,” noted Christina O’Connell, SumOfUs shareholder advisor, a co-submitter of the resolution. “Many of our members are also meta-shareholders and they are concerned about the recent revelations that make it clear that Mr. Zuckerberg and his team are unable to responsibly manage their existing ‘universe’ – how can they, as shareholders, rely on that Trust the company’s ability to do this? also manage a metaverse? “

An evaluation by third parties and a vote of shareholders on the Metaverse project would enable Meta to reduce potential future damage to society while at the same time preserving shareholder value. Without adequate due diligence and governance of the Metaverse project, shareholder value could be harmed, according to the decision. After the company’s governance flaws were exposed last fall, its stock fell 13 percent in six weeks. Shareholders believe that a thorough assessment of the platforms’ potential risks and a plan to mitigate those potential risks will only benefit the value of Meta in the long run.

Arjuna Capital is a sustainable and high impact investment firm that works with high net worth individuals, families and institutions to invest their assets with environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities in mind. Natasha Lamb and Arjuna Capital were recognized for using shareholder resolutions to promote effective content governance in the technology sector. More information is available at www.Arjuna-Capital.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211213005763/en/

contacts

Natasha Lamb, (978) 704-0114 or natasha@arjuna-capital.com

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