CQ: Facebook investor campaigners hope ad boycott spurs change

By Laura Weiss, July 15, 2020

The advertiser boycott of Facebook Inc. that began this month exemplifies risks related to content governance the company faces and the need for corporate governance change, say groups involved in shareholder campaigns for more stringent content oversight practices at Facebook.

An impact investing firm and shareholder campaign organization that have pressed Facebook to report on content governance and to add a civil or human rights expert to the board are hoping the lost ad sales compel Facebook to make changes. Still, an academic who studies environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters said the boycott is not currently significant enough to spur change from Facebook.

“This is exactly the kind of hit to the top line that we’ve been talking about since 2016,” said Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital, in an interview. “It’s to the point now that Facebook should be paying attention, but it still seems that they’re not listening.”

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