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Shira Ovide

Don’t Ignore the Facebook Shareholder Revolt

Tech companies need the scrutiny of empowered shareholders.

There's still value in certain defeat.

There's still value in certain defeat.

Photographer: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

The owners of Facebook Inc. are gathering on Thursday in Silicon Valley for an update from management and their annual vote on corporate matters. We already know the results, but that doesn't make the process irrelevant. In fact, it's time to pay closer attention to the signs of restive shareholders at big technology companies.

First, here's what we all know will happen on Facebook's stockholder ballot, which comes after a tumultuous year in which the company has been accused of harming (political) democracy, fanning ethnic violence and letting people's personal information be harvested by bad actors. All of Facebook's board members will win re-election. The measures submitted by small shareholders will fail. There's no drama, because Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg casts the majority of votes thanks to his superpowered stock.