San Francisco official proposes stripping Mark Zuckerberg's name from a hospital

Key Points
  • San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin proposes removing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's name from a public hospital following a series of scandals.
  • Peskin cited the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a recent report that Facebook hired an opposition research firm to go after liberal financier George Soros.
  • Zuckerberg and his wife donated $75 million to San Francisco General Hospital's foundation in 2015.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Marlene Awaad | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook's scandals may not cost CEO Mark Zuckerberg his board seat, but it could strip his name from a San Francisco public hospital, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin on Tuesday proposed removing Zuckerberg's name from San Francisco General Hospital, which was renamed after the Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $75 million to the hospital's foundation in 2015. Chan previously worked at the hospital as a pediatrician.

Peskin cited Facebook's series of scandals it has faced over the past year as he asked the city attorney to begin working on a procedure for removing Zuckerberg's name, the Chronicle reported. At a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Peskin cited the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent New York Times report that Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to paint liberal financier George Soros as the force behind an anti-Facebook movement. Soros has been the target of anti-Semitic smears on the far right.

"It is not normal for private entities to use that information to spread, and in this case anti-Semitic, conspiracy theories on platforms they control," Peskin said, according to The Chronicle. "It is not normal for Mark Zuckerberg and [Facebook Chief Operating Officer] Sheryl Sandberg to refuse to accept responsibility and to publicly distance themselves from acts that they have personally instigated. ... This is about the integrity of institutions and spaces that are overwhelmingly funded by public money and taxpayer dollars."

In a statement, a spokesperson for the San Francisco city attorney's office said of the proposal, "We have received a publicly disclosed request from a client to look at this. We do not have a policy position on the matter."

At the time of the Zuckerberg-Chan donation, hospital officials believed it was the largest single private donation by individuals to a public hospital in the country, SFGate reported. In May, nurses at the hospital already began to protest the name, with one even taping over "Zuckerberg" on the hospital's signage, The New York Times reported.

The hospital's CEO Susan Ehrlich said in a statement that Zuckerberg and Chan's gift has helped the hospital acquire new technology, support renovations and improve patient care and education.

"Naming is an important convention in philanthropy that encourages additional donors, and our hospital relies on the support of the community, the City and County of San Francisco, and generous private philanthropy," Ehrlich said in the statement. "We are honored that Dr. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg thought highly enough of our hospital and staff, and the health of San Franciscans, to donate their resources to our mission."

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Facebook considered charging for user data access: WSJ