Convert Facebook into a Public Benefit Corporation.

Convert Facebook into a Public Benefit Corporation.

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Facebook is used by more than 2 billion users around the world. Their mission statement claims that Facebook's goal is to "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

However, under Delaware Corporate Law, the fiduciary duty of Facebook's Officers and Directors is to serve the financial interests of Facebook's shareholders. This conflict between Facebook's mission and it's legal responsibilities causes problems for us all.

As Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his recent Washington Post article, Facebook and other internet companies need legal oversight in the fields of "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability". This regulation may take years to arrive from regulators, and given that Facebook is a global company but there is no global government, that regulation may never arrive at all.

Under Delaware Law, where Facebook is incorporated (http://delcode.delaware.gov/title8/c001/sc15/):

"A 'public benefit corporation' is a for-profit corporation [...] that is intended to produce a public benefit or public benefits and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. To that end, a public benefit corporation shall be managed in a manner that balances the stockholders' pecuniary interests, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation's conduct, and the public benefit or public benefits identified in its certificate of incorporation."

Currently there is a conflict between Facebook maximizing profit and Facebook doing what is best for the world. This needs to change, and thankfully Delaware Law means that Facebook does not need to wait for regulators for the company to be subject to legally binding oversight.

An example of a company that is a Public Benefit Corporation is Kickstarter. Their Charter is viewable here: https://www.kickstarter.com/charter

Unlike a "mission", a charter is legally binding. The Directors can be held accountable under the law if they do not obey the Charter. Facebook should also have a Charter, so that its Directors are held legally accountable to a mission that goes beyond maximizing profit for shareholders.

Therefore, we petition Mark Zuckerberg to enshrine Facebook's duty to society in law, and convert Facebook, Inc. into Facebook, Public Benefit Corporation.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!