Activists project 'Fire Zuckerberg' onto Facebook shareholder meeting

Activists project 'Fire Zuckerberg' onto Facebook shareholder meeting
© Fight for the Future

When Facebook shareholders arrived to their hotel in Palo Alto, Calif., on Wednesday night, they were met with an angry message aimed at founder and CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergWarren targets Facebook with ad claiming Zuckerberg supports Trump Key Democrat presses FTC over Facebook settlement's 'dangerous precedent' On The Money: Fed officials saw rising risk of recession | Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz blast NBA for 'outrageous' response to China | Prospects dim for trade breakthrough with China MORE.

Activist group Fight for the Future projected the words "Fire Zuckerberg" on the side of the building where the social media giant's annual shareholder's meeting would be held.

"Facebook has violated billions of people’s basic rights, harvested and abused our data in nauseating ways, and shown reckless disregard for the human impact of its products," Fight for the Future wrote in a blog post. The group has been calling for Zuckerberg to be fired.

"Zuckerberg has been the sole leader of Facebook for its entire 15 years of existence," the group wrote. "In that time, there has been no attempt to move away from a business model reliant on violating user privacy. Facebook’s current business practices are fundamentally at odds with democracy and human rights." 

ADVERTISEMENT

At the Thursday meeting, investors will vote on multiple proposals aimed at reducing Zuckerberg's control over the company, where he is the CEO, chairman of the board and controls 58 percent of Facebook's voting power. All of the proposals are likely to fail, considering Zuckerberg has monopoly voting power and does not plan to approve them. 

Activists have been rallying around proposals to oust the Facebook CEO or limit his power amid a barrage of privacy and civil rights scandals that have plagued the company for several years. Regulators around the world have been eyeing Facebook over antitrust and privacy issues over the past year, and in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to hit Facebook with a fine between $3 billion and $5 billion along with a settlement that will involve more oversight. 

Some Facebook investors have become wary amid the escalating scrutiny and have raised questions over whether Facebook's board of directors is equipped to hold its leader accountable. The board is stocked mainly with close Zuckerberg allies.  

Digital civil rights group Color of Change and Majority Action, a corporate accountability organization, have been urging Facebook shareholders to withhold their support for nominating Zuckerberg to the head of the board on Thursday. 

The activist groups have been asking BlackRock, Facebook's second largest institutional shareholder, to withhold its support for Zuckerberg. A petition from the groups calling on BlackRock to vote "no" on Zuckerberg has garnered more than 125,000 signatures.

They have also sponsored a proposal for Facebook to begin exploring breaking itself apart.