WASHINGTON – To protect the well-being of America’s students and the retirement security of our nation’s educators, the National Education Association (NEA) announced today that it was joining the #MakeMarkListen Campaign to demand corporate governance reforms at Meta, the parent corporation of Facebook and Instagram, in advance of the company's annual general meeting next week. NEA, along with the activists and organizations that are part of this campaign, is demanding oversight and accountability at Meta on behalf of their students and communities after Mark Zuckerberg and other corporate leaders have been unable or unwilling to clean up the platform that too often harms young people across our nation and the globe.
NEA President Becky Pringle said:
“As educators, we understand the incredible potential of social media. We have seen how social media platforms can open new doors of learning for our students, empower them with new ways to channel their creativity, enable them to make new friends around the corner and around the globe, and inspire them in ways previous generations couldn’t imagine.
“But educators and parents know that social media platforms are double-edged swords. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have reportedly enabled cyberbullying of our students, damaged their mental and emotional health, and addicted them through algorithms crafted to increase people’s fervent use. For too long, Facebook has actively ignored its platforms’ ill effects on young people, just like it turned a blind eye to the attacks on our democracy, while continuing to profit from illegal activity.
“Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the other corporate leaders have shown themselves to be unwilling or unable to protect the best interests of the platforms’ users or the company’s shareholders.
“That is why the National Education Association, on behalf of our 3 million members and the 50 million students they serve, is joining the #MakeMarkListen campaign to demand corporate governance reforms, calling on Meta to reduce their risk, clean up their platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, and ensure the success of the company moving forward.”
Specifically, as part of this campaign NEA is endorsing two resolutions that will be considered at Meta’s annual general meeting and encouraging shareholders to vote in support of each. The first resolution (Proposal #14), offered by Harrington Investments, the Park Foundation, and SumOfUs, mandates a performance review of Meta’s audit and risk committee and its performance in overseeing company risks to public safety and the public interest. The second resolution (Proposal #9) filed by Arjuna Capital, SHARE, Storebrand and SumOfUs, requests the Board of Directors commission a third-party assessment of its metaverse project, specifically focused on the potential harms to users that may be caused by the use and abuse of the platform.
Between whistleblower Frances Haugen’s 11 complaints to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a fall in future earnings projections, and a single-day valuation loss of more than $230 billion, the steady flow of controversies has raised alarms and attention about its business practices and motivations. As a result of the reported mismanagement, Meta has produced detrimental products for years. The company has allegedly hidden vital information from the public, from its shareholders, from the U.S. government and from governments around the world, misleading these parties about its research on adolescent safety, artificial intelligence and its role in spreading divisive and extreme messages.
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at www.nea.org.