Facebook shareholders called out the social network for backing politicians whose positions on public policy issues, such as Internet freedom, LGBT rights, and the environment, don’t align with Facebook’s image, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As recently as last year, Facebook contributed to three politicians who supported the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, policies that threatened free speech online, according to the filing. Forty-one percent of Facebook’s PAC contributions also went to politicians who voted against LGBT rights, with another third going toward candidates pushing the deregulation of greenhouse gas emissions and striking down the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.
The company’s political contributions are out of sync with Facebook’s core values, NorthStar Asset Management, which owns over 50,000 shares of the company, said in the filings. NorthStar CEO Julie Goodridge noted that unlike Apple, IBM, and Google, Facebook has no public political contributions policy, which would make the company’s political agenda more transparent to shareholders. Because of that, NorthStar is pushing other shareholders to make Facebook fall in line with Apple and Google and give shareholders quarterly reports detailing all of the company’s donations.