06:34 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018

    Zuckerberg Under Fire From Shareholders Over 'Dictatorship', Lack of Democracy

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    The CEO of one of the world’s most popular social media networks found himself criticized by the company’s shareholders, who took a dim view of his leadership methods.

    Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, faced a barrage of criticism from shareholders and calls to change the “company’s governance” during a recent annual meeting, The Guardian reports.

    Christine Jantz, one of the shareholders who attended, blasted Facebook’s stockholder voting structure, which effectively allows Zuckerberg to control the majority of voting power in the company without owning the majority of its stock, because his shares have more voting power than those of regular investors.

    Jantz claimed that the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal was enabled by this very system and called to reform it, while another shareholder activist described the existing voting structure as a "corporate dictatorship."

    "If privacy is a human right, as stated by Microsoft’s CEO, then we contend that Facebook’s poor stewardship of customer data is tantamount to a human rights violation,” she added.

    Another shareholder also declared that "shareholder democracy is already lacking at Facebook" before her microphone was turned off.

    Will Lana, who represented Trillium Asset Management, said that his company had identified "at least 15 distinct controversies" Facebook is currently facing, stating that "the proof of the current structure’s inadequacies is on display in the current headlines."

    In response, Zuckerberg said that Facebook management takes “a broader view” of its responsibility to "everyone" they serve and discussed "the company’s various initiatives to increase advertising transparency, improve content moderation, and prevent interference in elections," the newspaper added.

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also added that the company would adopt a "diverse slate approach" when choosing members of the board of directors, which is expected to improve the chances of candidates from "underrepresented groups."

    READ MORE: Watch Out, Mark! Twitter Ablaze Over Hillary Clinton's Desire to Be Facebook CEO

    Earlier, the European Center for Digital Rights filed a complaint against Facebook on behalf of an anonymous user, claiming that the social media network pressured people into accepting its privacy policy by using methods that allegedly violate the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

    During his testimony in front of the European Parliament, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also confirmed that the social network had collected the data of non-Facebook users "for security purposes."

    The social media titan has faced widespread outrage since it emerged earlier this year that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica had obtained a large amount of the social network’s user data via a third-party application. The information was allegedly used to help target political advertising.


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