Activists who campaigned for the ouster of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over a $1,000 anti-gay marriage donation made in 2008 got their wish, but may also have inadvertently opened a Pandora's Box in Silicon Valley, where Birkenstocks and kale smoothies don't always mean liberal political views.
Take one case that has so far gotten almost no attention: An April 8 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by a shareholder claiming that Facebook's political action committee "has donated 41 percent of contributions since its inception to politicians voting against LGBT rights." Around 30 percent of the PAC's contributions have gone to "politicians voting to deregulate greenhouse gases," the filing states, "despite Facebook's public support for the environment."
The filing urges Facebook to implement a policy to ensure the company's money goes to political causes consistent with the social media giant's "corporate values." Filed days after Eich resigned, the document from the president of NorthStar Asset Management says that disclosure may lay Facebook subject to public scrutiny and "embarrassment" –- but argues that the best antidote is transparency.