Demand Progress

Tell BlackRock: Vote to break up Facebook

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    Tell BlackRock: Vote to break up Facebook

    Petition to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and BlackRock Managing Director Michelle Edkins:
    Since 2007, Facebook customers have experienced privacy violations, data theft, news manipulation, and safety breaches. Facebook has not acted sufficiently to stop its platform and its properties from being used to interfere in elections, spread misinformation, incite offline violence and livestream violence. During all these crises, Facebook management has given the impression that they are uninformed or working at cross purposes with one another. Facebook is too big to be managed responsibly. We urge you to vote yes on Facebook shareholder proposal #12 to break up Facebook and its properties and rein in Mark Zuckerberg’s power by voting against confirming Zuckerberg as Board Chair of Facebook.

    Trump used Facebook to win in 2016 with the help of Cambridge Analytica. And he’s poised to do it again, since Facebook is allowing Trump to run misleading and false ads to get re-elected.1

    With the 2020 elections coming up, it’s more urgent than ever to put a check on Facebook’s power.

    With over 2 billion users and ownership of its previous competitors, Facebook is too big to manage responsibly. That’s why Facebook shareholders led by the corporate watchdog group SumOfUs have filed a shareholder resolution to break up Facebook and its properties: WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.2

    BlackRock is the second largest independent shareholder of Facebook, and it would be huge if they voted yes on the resolution to break up Facebook. But we only have a short time to make ourselves heard before Facebook’s shareholder meeting next week.

    Please sign this petition to tell one of Facebook’s biggest shareholders, BlackRock, to vote yes to break up Facebook and rein in Mark Zuckerberg’s power.

    Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp is how we keep in touch with family and friends. It’s where we go to play games, share baby and cat photos, and increasingly where we get our news and political analysis.

    But Facebook uses all the personal data we give it to make money. We are Facebook’s product, all two billion of us.3 And that has a big impact on our lives and democracy.

    The mass murder of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand was livestreamed on Facebook and spread all around the internet by hate groups.4

    WhatsApp is helping spread Nazi imagery in Germany--a country where Nazi imagery is outlawed.5

    Facebook mishandled the storage of millions of passwords, exposing users to harm from hackers with access to all kinds of personal data.6

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp helped the new fascist president of Brazil rise to power7--a president who openly longs for Brazil's past brutal military dictatorship8 and said it “should have killed 30,000 more.”9

    Scandal after scandal proves that Facebook is too big to be managed responsibly.

    Demand Progress is working hard to get federal regulators to break up the company, and more pressure is crucial. BlackRock is the second largest outside shareholder of Facebook. BlackRock has the ability to send a powerful signal that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s power has to be reined in.


    1. New York Times, “Why Trump Likes Facebook,” May 22, 2019.
    2. Facebook Inc. SEC Proxy Statement, “Proposal Twelve: Stockholder Proposal Regarding Strategic Alternatives,” April 12, 2019
    3. New York Times, “It’s Time to Break Up Facebook,” May 9, 2019.
    4. The Washington Post, “Fewer than 200 people watched the New Zealand massacre live. A hateful group helped it reach millions,” March 19, 2019.
    5. BuzzFeed News, “WhatsApp Has Become A Hotbed For Spreading Nazi Propaganda In Germany,” April 18, 2019.
    6. The Verge, “Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text,” March 21, 2019.
    7. Fast Company, “How Brazil’s Trump is using WhatsApp to win election,” October 26, 2018.
    8. The Guardian, “Bolsonaro's pledge to return Brazil to past alarms survivors of dictatorship,”October 22, 2018.
    9. NBC News, “Brazil presidential election: Who is Jair Bolsonaro and why is he more dangerous than Trump?,” October 28, 2018.