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Congress should demand Zuckerberg move to 'one share, one vote'

Congress should demand Zuckerberg move to 'one share, one vote'
From TechCrunch - April 9, 2018

Mark Zuckerbergis an autocrat, and not hypothetically. Through his special voting rights held in Facebooks Class B shares, he wields absolute command of the company, while owning just a handful of percentage points of the companys equity.

Like any autocrat, he has taken extraordinary measures to maintain control over his realm. He produced a plan exactly two years ago that would have zeroed out the voting rights for everyday shareholders with a new voteless Class C share, only to pull back at the last minute as a Delaware court case was set to begin. He has received the irrevocable proxies of many Facebook insiders, allowing him to control their votes indefinitely. Plus, any Class B shares that are sold are converted to Class A shares, allowing him to continue to consolidate power as people leave.

And now, borrowing a page straight out of George Orwells 1984, he has even tried to retract and disappear his own messages to others on his platform (which has now been retracted itself after it became public).

While Congress is right to focus on Cambridge Analytica, and electoral malfeasance, and political ads, and a whole crop of other controversies surrounding Facebook,it should instead direct its attention to the single solution that would begin to solve all of this: dissolve Facebooks dual-class share structure and thereby democratize its ownership.

Just as congressmen are elected under the principle of one man, one vote, it should demand that Facebook follow the highest standards used by most other publicly listed companies and return to one share, one vote.

Zuckerberg himself should certainly agree with this. After all, the original logic of creating a voteless share class was that the companys financial performance was strong and Zuckerberg needed to be protected to continue it that way. The plan was announced the same quarter that Facebook crushed its financial results, and there was an absolutely implied connection between those results and the controlling stake held by Zuckerberg.

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