back to article Activist shareholders to target Zuck with giant angry emoji inflatable at Facebook AGM

Facebook stock-owning activists are planning to deliver an eight-foot angry-looking emoji to CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's annual general meeting next week to highlight widespread frustration with the US web goliath. Consumer group SumOfUs has joined forces with a Jewish activist group to present an AGM resolution …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no ,no, no .....

    .... there's no limit (to the amount of info FB want to hold about you)

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no ,no, no .....

      the title to this thread reminds me of the movie 'Little Nicky' where Little Nicky's brothers (spoiler alert?) were inside of a flask just before the devil "did something" with them... heh heh heh heh

      1. beep54

        Re: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no ,no, no .....

        Sorry, but nearly everything with Adam Sandler is a no go. EVER.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "SumOfUs has had some success in embarrassing companies to change their governance or approach in the past."

    I doubt Zuk can be embarrassed and he can't be outvoted so what's all this about activism? If they don't like it about all they can do is sell their shares.

    "Therefore, our board of directors believes that the process contemplated by this proposal is unnecessary and recommends that our stockholders vote against this proposal."

    I'm sure he will.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If they don't like it about all they can do is sell their shares."

      Buy enough of then and then sell them all on the same day as "junk"? I know would never happen, but it would be an interesting experiment of it could :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "If they don't like it about all they can do is sell their shares."

        Or not buy them in the first place. The governance of Facebook or Zuck's retention of power hasn't changed so they knew when they bought into FB what the situation was. They chose to purchase shares in a company where there's zero chance of any shareholders other than Zuck having a real day in how things are run, so as much as I can appreciate why they want those changes, I don't get how they'd ever think they'd them through.

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    It's not like anyone is forced to use Facebook. If scandal after scandal and rampant data slurping isn't putting the customers off then all of these activists are just pissing in the wind. It's a rare case of the change needing to come from the bottom. As soon as people start losing patience with Facebook and actually delete their accounts to the point of diminishing their user base significantly, only then will they listen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're missing the point.

      Wastebook is a de facto monopoly, and effectively a 21st century telecoms provider. IMHO it should be regulated as such. Even if you're not using it you're still going to suffer the effects of its power and influence. Dark money counter-democracy operations, anyone?

      I hope that one day people far brainier than myself come up with an open protocol suite that would negate the need for a corporate server infrastructure. A bit like how we can now (sort of) have money without banks. I'd gladly take the hit of losing a few fancy features in order to be able to share Hitler-mocking memes when privately having a laugh with mates, or antagonist film character quotes, without being summarily flushed down the memory hole.

      Lastly, 2 tips: Use good ad blockers including Social Fixer or FB Purity (.com), and always have your next FB account chambered so you can hop over to it with ease. Add contacts in parallel.

      1. Martin Summers Silver badge

        Re: You're missing the point.

        It may well be a monopoly, that still doesn't mean people don't have a choice. All it needs is momentum and Facebook could lose its user base as quickly as it gained it. There are alternatives, it's just not convenient for people to move and urge others to do the same.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: You're missing the point.

          what hurts "moving away" the most is that you [basically] have to LOG IN TO FA[e]CEBOOK to VIEW FACEBOOK PAGES, or at least that's been MY observation, always not being able to see them because I refuse to create an F-book login.

          yeah sometimes a search engine will return F-book links. Disappointing, but that's how it works.

          1. beep54
            Happy

            Re: You're missing the point.

            It is extremely simple for me. If I have to log into FB to see ANYTHING, I ain't going there.

        2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: You're missing the point.

          It may well be a monopoly, that still doesn't mean people don't have a choice

          No longer true.

          Apart from the tracking and profiling even if you've never ever given them any consent, there are practical issues these days.

          Too many businesses and other sources of information are now "FaecesBorg Only". Want (or need) that information - either go to FaecesBorg or don't have it. Not really "have choice" is it ?

          If you follow the Light Blue Touchpaper security blog, a while ago they did one where they'd looked into why so many people use FB. A common thread among students was : nearly all parties are only organised/publicised on FB, if you aren't on FB you don't get to go to parties; if you don't get to go to parties then you don't get much sex ! Maybe "students not getting sex" isn't the best argument - but it illustrates the problem, if all your friends are on FB and you aren't, then you miss out.

          I've been trying to persuade family to use Signal instead of WhatsApp - so far none of them have agreed to, so I miss out when they insist on using WA to communicate.

        3. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: You're missing the point.

          Yes it does. Laugh all you want, but as someone highly stressed by any kind of direct personal contact with anyone I don't personally know, I would much prefer to order pizza online - except guess what, there's one firm exclusively syndicating all online food ordering around here, and unsurprisingly, you can only access them at all by logging into Facebook. So yeah, my "choice" is effectively not being able to order online. Which may well be a mere nuisance in the grand scheme of things (and perhaps not even that to _you_), but it illustrates the problem nicely - if you're not on Facebook, you de facto no longer exist.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: You're missing the point.

        Facebook is monopolizing social network, but it's really like tobacco - people are just addicted to it for no good reason. There's not a single Facebook business area that is really useful and/or irreplaceable without much effort.

        Still, tobacco companies needed regulations to avoid addicted people to keep on poisoning the others.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: You're missing the point.

          uh not the same thing as tobacco... though tobacco in the US has been legal forever, built the economy in states like Virginia. Only since the 1960's has there been a push towards regulating tobacco and advertisements for tobacco products. But as long as people are informed, they should still be able to buy this stuff if they want (just don't smoke it near me or upwind of where I'm at)

          As for Fa[e]ceBook, same idea. What you need to look at with them is really the obvious, that is ABuse of personal information, and the GENERAL LACK of full disclosure on this.

          If use of data were 'opt in' only, for example, some people might want it, but it's likely MOST people would not. FB should sell the idea of an opt-in system, and make it happen and give users total control of what's disclosed (and to whom) and then nobody should complain, because that's what 'full disclosure' is all about. "Oh yeah our product is addicting, and we track you everywhere, but these are the benefits. Interested?"

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: You're missing the point.

        "it should be regulated as such."

        whatever it is, their use of private citizens' data and the apparent lack of disclosure and "informed consent" seems to beg for some kind of legal action at the very least.

        Regulatory agencies are basically there so that individuals don't have to go through the expense of lawsuits [class action or otherwise] for abusive, predatory, or outright illegal actions by a business, whether towards the customers, or towards the competition, or both.

        However I fear that "regulation" might be like the 'can spam' act was a few years back, which had NOTHING to do with STOPPING spam, but instead ALLOWS it under some broad-brush conditions...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're missing the point.

        There are some Facebook-alikes, but GNU Social is there if you want a decentralized Twitter replacement.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: You're missing the point.

        "I hope that one day people far brainier than myself come up with an open protocol suite that would negate the need for a corporate server infrastructure."

        They already did. It was called Skype. Then it got Borged into Microsoft.

    2. Tomato42 Silver badge

      > It's not like anyone is forced to use Facebook.

      oh, so I'm asked first if I want the facebook tracking cookie before I visit basically every website out there that includes the "Like" button?

    3. macjules Silver badge

      “Look , FREE beer!”

      “Don’t drink it though as it is not free”

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "diminishing their user base significantly"

      Well, Facebook managed to diminish their user base by a few billion recently. I wonder how or if that affected reports to advertisers?

  4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Flame

    !#$%*^!$%

    The only reason I clicked on this article is to see a photo of the inflatable emoji.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: !#$%*^!$%

      if you use your imagination, I'm showing you MY 'inflatable emoji' - ha ha ha ha ha.

      1. bpfh Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: !#$%*^!$%

        Why the downvotes? I thought that was a good one. Here , have an upvote :)

        Paris, as she knows all about inflatable st(i|u)ff

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All hail the Emperor Zuck

    But he really does need some new clothes.

    Boycott Facebook and everything else controlled by the faux Emperor.

  6. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Who?

    You speak of "activist shareholders", but you omit to tell us. Are you using the normal meaning of the term - serious shareholders with clout seeking to push through change? Or is it someone who's bought a handful of shares just to pull a stunt without having a real stake?

    Would be interesting to hear if any of the fund managers who manage parts of one's own portfolio was taking an activist role.

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: Who?

      If I buy just one share I’ll have as much of a ‘real stake’ as someone who owns thousands. A smaller stake, but just as real.

      I’d also argue that activist shareholders who want to change the way a company behaves do a greater service to the public than individual and institutional shareholders who buy and sell simply to make money.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: Who?

        nothing wrong with making money. however, HOW you make it is an ethical issue

      2. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Who?

        Not arguing with that.

        But big shareholders can sometimes exert genuine influence - for reasons ranging from entirely ethical to entirely selfish, but more usually just because they believe the company can be better-run to everyone's benefit. That's what's customarily called an activist investor.

        If you buy one share just so you can heckle the AGM, that's just the peanut gallery. Though even the peanut gallery might make its mark.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Who?

        "A smaller stake, but just as real."

        Your stake may be real, but the amount of power you wield over Facebook isn't. Power is what he was referring to. Real in this case being relative power, as opposed to real/imaginary.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Who?

          In this case, the stake in the sense of how much power can be wielded is exactly the same, and better described as imaginary than real. Since there is a majority shareholder, whatever they say goes. The activist with 10% and the activist with 10 shares have exactly the same amount of power and will receive the same amount of respect. Yes, they could try to do a stunt like dropping all 10% at once, but A) they don't actually own that large a chunk, B) they wouldn't want to take that kind of loss to send a message, and C) someone else would buy it and Facebook would not care at all about the former investor.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Irongut

      Donald please leave your antisemitism on Twitter, it is not welcome here.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        WTF?

        who's Donald? AC said some stuff that could be considered anti-semitism, yeah. is his name Donald?

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: anonymous coward

      Banned. Take your antisemitic shit elsewhere.

      C.

  8. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    Separate CEO and Board Chair

    this would make a lot of sense. One is responsible to the board of directors and the shareholders, for making investments good, futures bright, and shareholders generally happy. The other runs the company. In a successful scenario there's collaboration between them but neither overrides the other [however the board CAN replace the CEO if he's totally screwed up]

    While Zuck remains "majority vote" in the boardroom, he can also dictate policy as CEO. So basically it's a DICTATORSHIP as things are now. basically he's like Saddam Hussein or Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez or Kim Jon Un or Mao Tse Tung...

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Separate CEO and Board Chair

      It does make a lot of sense and that's why most companies do it. However, a company that is run by one person with all the power, while frequently inefficient or actively mismanaged, isn't the same as a dictatorship. The power over a corporation is based on how much of it, or in this case, its voting shares, a person owns. Even if he left as CEO, he would still be able to dictate policy by choosing another CEO and telling them what to do. This is entirely legal if inadvisable.

  9. steviebuk Silver badge

    Ironic

    "Facebook stock-owning activists" activists shareholders? Is there such a thing? You know what you are doing when you buy the shares. You're trying to make a profit off the company you apparently appose. Only thing you can do now is dump your stock. If you have enough you can cause a price change, but I doubt you do and dumping the stock screws other investors also. As in Wall Street "I could dump the stock just to burn your arse". Again only makes a difference if you own loads.

    If however, you could buy enough to be able to put pressure on, to force change. Then you'd have a point but I suspect they don't.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A pox on all our houses

    A smear of shite that invades all of our lives, members or not.

    Facebook.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smear, Pile or Other?

    I'm more inclined to view FB as a pile of <short-name-for-manure>, rather than a mere smear.

    In view of the large numbers of people and pages infected with it, descriptive nouns need something to convey the horrible ubiquity FB has reached (can't bing myself to say "achieved"). Life really is too short to fully detail why FB is such a bad thing.

    Come on The Register, ditch the 'F'.

  12. Martijn Otto

    Missed opportunity

    It'd be much, much better if the balloon was basically a giant dislike button.

  13. Ghostman

    Remember these?

    How many of you remember Geocities, SixDegrees, Blogger, Friendster, MySpace and other social media sites?

    Wonder why I thought it was not a good idea to purchase FaceBook stock?

    Wonder what I think will happen to Facebook?

    It probably will not be too long in that happening.

    Just waiting for the next big shiny thing in social media to pop up?

    Also, I don't use companies that make you contact them only through Facebook, or use Facebook as their website.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Remember these?

      "Wonder why I thought it was not a good idea to purchase FaceBook stock?"

      I'm sure you could have made money if you bought and sold it at the right time.

  14. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Independence

    "Want an independent chair as opposed to the Zuck being both chair and CEO: something that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and Twitter all possess, as do 59 per cent of S&P 500 companies"

    Does anyone suppose that Oracle will act in a direction that Ellison opposes, or that Apple would have gone against Jobs (v.2)?

  15. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Only 50...?

    "The activist organization also plans to hold a protest outside the hotel where the AGM is taking place; Brown told us they expect at least 50 people to attend."

    Have they thought about posting an invitation to the event on Facebook...?

  16. b13blues

    Doubt he'll lose any sleep to be fair.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019