A coalition of Google shareholders has filed a resolution asking the company to publish a human rights impact assessment for a controversial censored search product -- called "Dragonfly" -- that Google is reportedly developing for use in China. Led by Azzad Asset Management, the shareholders are concerned that Google's compliance with China’s repressive laws would facilitate and legitimize surveillance and censorship, posing serious human rights risks.
An institutional shareholder in Google is calling on the tech giant to disclose information about the risks associated with a controversial Chinese search engine product, "Project Dragonfly," that has drawn criticism from lawmakers and activists.
Azzad Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm, on Monday filed a shareholder petition asking Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., to evaluate the potential impact on investors if Google developed a censored search engine in China and to publish a report on its findings by Oct. 30, 2019.
Shareholders in Facebook, Google and Twitter with assets worth more than $25 billion have filed proposals with the companies in the last week demanding answers and accountability related to foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as threats posed by the growth of hate speech and disinformation on the three platforms.
Concerned that long-term shareholder wealth may be at risk if Facebook and Google do not do enough to “address fake news and hoaxes,” Arjuna Capital, in partnership with Baldwin Brothers, Inc., is asking the two tech giants (proposals to Google here and Facebook here) to evaluate the impact fabricated content is having on their platforms and businesses.
Today Google announced it will ban ads for payday loans and other predatory lending products. Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans that create and perpetuate cycles of debt among low income communities. With its new policy, Google is taking a big step to curtail the harmful impact of predatory lending schemes on its users. Low income people — the primary targets of economically exploitative ploys both online and off — stand to benefit most from the policy change.