Ma­jor Share­holder Says Zuck Runs a Dic­ta­tor­ship as Face­book Back­lash In­ten­si­fies

The Jewish Voice - - BUSINESS NEWS - By Jared Evan

Ama­jor Face­book share­holder is call­ing for the so­cial me­dia gi­ant to re­struc­ture the way Fac­book runs its busi­ness and treats the share­hold­ers; the lat­est in a series of pub­lic back­lash Face­book has been fac­ing.

Cal­i­for­nia State Teach­ers' Re­tire­ment Sys­tem's (CalSTRS) Aeisha Mastagni, a port­fo­lio man­ager at CalSTRS, pub­lished an opin­ion piece in the Financial Times Thurs­day, crit­i­ciz­ing Face­book's “dual-class” struc­ture — wherein class A share­hold­ers get a one vote per one share while class B share­hold­ers have 10 votes per share.

“Ev­ery­one is equal but some are more equal than oth­ers”, Mastagni wrote in her piece. She pointed out that class A share­hold­ers A share­hold­ers get a one vote per one share while class A share­hold­ers get one vote per share, while class B share­hold­ers have 10 votes per share. Mark Zucker­berg owns a lot of class B stock, giv­ing him the con­trol­ling stake of 60% of the vot­ing power.

Her port­fo­lio Calstrs en­dorses the prin­ci­ple of “one share, one vote” — that ev­ery share of a pub­lic com­pany's com­mon stock should have equal vot­ing rights.

She wrote in the op-ed: “It has been six years since Face­book went pub­lic. For Calstrs, it has grown from a small pri­vate eq­uity in­vest­ment to a top 10 port­fo­lio com­pany, The dream that be­gan in a dorm room is now one the largest com­pa­nies by mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion and one of Amer­ica's most in­flu­en­tial en­ti­ties. Face­book has grown at an un­be­liev­able pace. The cap­i­tal struc­ture has changed, and it is time for its gov­er­nance to catch up”.

“Why does Mr Zucker­berg need the en­trench­ment fac­tor of a dual-class struc­ture? Is it be­cause he does not want gov­er­nance to evolve with the rest of his com­pany? If so, this Amer­i­can dream is now akin to a dic­ta­tor­ship”, she con­tin­ued in the op-ed.

This lat­est con­tro­versy comes as a litany of com­plaints and crit­i­cism against the so­cial me­dia gi­ant have flooded the news. Face­book's role in col­lect­ing users' data for Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica with­out their con­sent, fi­nally caught the eye of the main stream me­dia and con­gress, af­ter con­ser­va­tive writ­ers and me­dia fig­ures have been com­plain­ing about ac­tual cen­sor­ship for the past year.

David Ben Hooren, the pub­lisher of the Jewish Voice re­cently said that the news­pa­per's num­bers in terms of “likes” and viewer par­tic­i­pa­tion has been sig­nif­i­cantly and pur­posely al­tered for the worse.

In or­der to il­lus­trate his point, Ben Hooren said, “Through­out the months of Fe­bru­ary, March and April of this year, our “like” clicks went down by 250. We have lost 100 likes and we have

seen no gain. It is very clear to me that our page is be­ing ma­nip­u­lated and tar­geted by those at Face­book who do not want us to suc­ceed as a le­git­i­mate news por­tal.”

The in­ci­dent where Face­book al­legedly blocked African Amer­i­can Trump sup­port­ers, Di­a­mond & Silk's con­tent from mil­lions of fol­low­ers “News feeds” ac­tu­ally be­came part of the hear­ings when Zucker­berg went be­fore con­gress to dis­cuss Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica.

The so­cial me­dia gi­ant is un­der the mi­cro­scope at this point. From con­gress, to con­tent providers and now share­hold­ers, Face­book is draw­ing in­tense scru­tiny. Many feel, this is long over­due.

Mark Zucker­berg at re­cent con­gres­sional hear­ings (Photo: YouTube)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.