Targets in Our Accountability Work

In our accountability work, we target publicly-traded companies in the media and tech sectors on behalf of socially responsible investors in order to change corporate practices. Our targets, some of which are detailed below, make some of the most consequential decisions in the public sphere today. We target these companies, usually with partners, through shareholder proposals, letters and comments because we believe these companies must be responsive and accountable to the greater public beyond their board table. Our goal is to cultivate a more open and democratic media and tech landscape.

 
 
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alphabet Inc.
stock: GOOG
CEO: Larry Page
revenue: 109.65 billion usd
HQ: mountain view, california
Subsidiaries: google, youtube, waymo, sidewalk labs

Alphabet Inc. is one of the tech giants Open MIC has sought to have sustained involvement with through various means. In a typical year, Open MIC file one or more proposals targeting Alphabet Inc. and/or one of its subsidiaries. These proposals are filed and co-filed with a number of our partnering organizations. The most recent effort Open Mic has taken up with the Company pertain to the covert development of a censored search tool aimed at the Chinese market. Open MIC has also lead a multi-year campaign advocating for better content governance across YouTube, Google Search, and Google Ads.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Google Search in China
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance
πŸ“‚ 2017 Proposal β€” β€œFake News”

 
 

amazon.com, inc
stock: amzn
ceo: jeff bezos
revenue: 177.9 billion usd
HQ: seattle, washington
subsidiaries: Audible, zappos, abebooks.com, souq.com

In the realm of actual and potential human rights abuses, Amazon.com, Inc has emerged as a quite harmful. Open MIC is joined by many, many partners in calling for the restriction of sales of software purchased by government agencies for the goal of mass surveillance, and which pose a threat to due process. Open MIC strongly advocates for individual privacy rights and will likely file proposals on this and related topics for years to come.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Risk of Sales of Facial Recognition Software

 
 
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facebook, Inc
Stock: FB
CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
Revenue: 40.7 billion usd
HQ: menlo park, california
Subsidiaries: Instagram, whatsapp inc., oculus vr

Facebook, Inc continues to betray public trust in its signature platforms, the social networking website, and its accompanying Messenger application. Some of the Company’s acquired subsidiaries are at increasing risk of public backlash, as the public demonstrates a weakening confidence in the products. Open MIC supports proposals around improving content governance on the platform, one issue that Facebook recently responded to, mirroring some of the language in the Open MIC proposal. Open MIC has also supported many partner proposals about the company leadership, and how to hold CEO Mark Zuckerberg more accountable.

πŸ“‚ 2019 Proposal β€” Independent Board Chairman
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Risk Oversight Committee
πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Open Letter

twitter inc.
stocK:
twtr
ceo: jack dorsey
Revenue: 2.44 billion usd
HQ: san francisco, california
subsidiaries: mopub, tellapart, inc., wiredset

Twitter is in dire need of better oversight of content on the platform. Open MIC compiled a report for review at Twitter’s 2018 annual meeting about the many instances of disinformation including its role in Russia’s election interference during the 2016 presidential election. Hate speech also continues to major problem on the platform, even as women, religious minorities, and people of color regularly report harassment through official channels. Open MIC will continue to explore with partners ways to call for Twitter’s accountability.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Content Governance

 
 
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apple inc.
stock:
aapl
ceo: tim cook
Revenue: 265.6 billion usd
HQ: Cupertino, california
subsidiaries: beats electronics, filemaker, shazam entertainment

Open MIC and partners called on Apple to increase racial and gender diversity among its staff in leadership in a 2018 proposal. In a proposal, shareholders called on the Company to tie compensation for CEO Tim Cook to improved diversity metrics. Instead of responding to the contents of this proposal at its shareholder meeting, Apple sought to block this request from further discussion. Open MIC and partners will continue to press Apple on this topic.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Diversity in Hiring

verizon communications inc.
stock: vz
ceo: hans vestberg
revenue: 126 billion usd
hq: new york, new york
subsidiaries: verizon wireless, aol, verizon fios, oath

Open MIC and partners observed that Verizon Communications Inc. did not have transparent and public measures to ensure cybersecurity threats, like data breaches, are well accounted for by the Company, despite the fact that breaches have occurred across its subsidiaries in the past. Open MIC expects Verizon to provide reports about cyber security and data privacy at regular intervals in the future, and tie such efforts to executive compensation.

πŸ“‚ 2018 Proposal β€” Cyber Security and Data Privacy

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additional targets

The companies that Open MIC targets are not limited to the above. In the past, Open MIC has worked more closely with a range of telecommunication companies including AT&T and Time Warner, and other technology companies including Microsoft and Comcast.