Facebook investor Jonas Kron called for Mark Zuckerberg to resign his position at the social media network in the wake of the bombshell detail that the company hired a consulting firm to smear its detractors.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Jonas Kron, the senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management, spoke out against the social media platform, of which his company owns a significant stake. Kron said, “Facebook is behaving like it’s a special snowflake. It’s not. It is a company and companies need to have a separation of chair and CEO.”
Facebook reportedly promoted anti-Semitic theories that blamed George Soros and his Open Society Foundations funded some of the site’s critics, according to Vox. Once the platform caught so much grief for its part in allowing Russian bots to influence and post about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Facebook turned to the firm Definers Public Affairs, which several Republican operatives founded, to try to rebuild its image.
For his part, Zuckerberg denied knowing about the firm’s strategies. He said he didn’t know anything about it until he read the original New York Times investigative report into the PR group. In a statement, Facebook announced the following.
“Definers did encourage members of the press to look into the funding of ‘Freedom from Facebook,’ an anti-Facebook organization. The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company. To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.”
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer, promised to thoroughly investigate the allegations and details of Definers and the strategies it used for the social media network.
FACEBOOK investors call on Zuckerberg to resign…… https://t.co/nlcR8kVIoW
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) November 17, 2018
Sandberg said that Facebook cut ties with Definers and that the goal of working with them in the first place was to shed light on the fact that what appeared to be a grassroots campaign, Freedom From Facebook, actually had some deep pocket financiers.
Investor Natasha Lamb of Arjuna Capital said the fact that Zuckerberg serves as both chair and chief executive officer of Facebook means that the company can get away with not fixing its issues.
In the wake of the disturbing details, Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, Chris Coons, and Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to Zuckerberg indicating their concern over the fact that it appeared as if the company retaliated against those who spoke out about the issues they had with the social media platform. Their ultimate concern, though, is that Facebook could use its vast amount of data against the government or other critics by essentially weaponizing information.