Facebook shareholders will confront Mark Zuckerberg over the social network's role in spreading fake news at the company's annual meeting on Thursday, arguing that democracy is at risk every time it tweaks an algorithm.
Impact investing funds Arjuna Capital and Baldwin Brothers are set to put forward proposals at the annual meetings of Facebook and, next week, Alphabet, demanding that the companies evaluate the impact of fake news flows on their reputations and whether it will create public policy risks.
Natasha Lamb, Arjuna's director of equity research and shareholder engagement, said she believed that even though both companies had taken steps to address the problem of fake news spreading online, neither had gone far enough.
"Both prefer to see themselves as neutral technology platforms but they have been transformed into media platforms — that is why we are so concerned," she said.
Facebook already stands to suffer under German legislation that would impose fines of millions of euros on social networks that do not remove fake news or hate speech, she added.