Meta

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp
California
Media and Entertainment

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Meta (Facebook) has a track record of censoring conservative voices, most famously then-President Trump, and many Christian accounts. However, Meta has done little to respond to reports of child sexual abuse materials on its platforms. In 2021, there were 29 million reports of child sexual abuse material, and 27 million (92%) were found on Meta apps. By complying with Human Rights Campaign’s controversial demands, Meta increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. Meta forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. Meta provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion and is part of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media. Meta has donated over $40 million to BLM and related causes. Meta endorses the Equality Act and opposes efforts to require voter ID. Meta has also weaponized its PAC by lobbying on behalf of the Equality Act. The company opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces. Meta is a Titanium partner of PFLAG. For these reasons, Meta (Facebook) receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta received a score of 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (1)(2). Facebook regularly faces criticism for censoring conservative voices, most prominently its suspension of then-President Trump (3). It also banned Franklin Graham for a post in 2016 supporting a North Carolina law requiring individuals to use public bathrooms corresponding to biological sex (4). Facebook did reverse one ban on a book publisher that it said had happened “in error,” though the company has not continued this trend of restoring unfairly suspended accounts (5). Facebook has censored Christians and Christian-led groups for sharing and discussing abortion or seeking charitable support to end forced marriages of Christian women in Islamic countries (6)(7)(8). Instagram, a subsidiary of Meta, suspended the conservative account “Libs of TikTok” for “violating community guidelines,” although the account simply reposted videos from left-leaning accounts on the platform (9). Facebook openly collaborates with the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP to police “hate speech” (10). Facebook also labeled a post from Ben Carson as misleading when he decried the recently signed legislation in Colorado legalizing abortion up until birth (11). The company claimed that this opinion was misleading because “abortions that occur later in a pregnancy are rare.” Meta is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, which aims to demonetize advertisements and suppress content that “vilifies” individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity, discusses “debated social issues in a negative or partisan context” or spreads “hate speech” (12)(13)(14).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta’s HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2). Most of Facebook’s charitable giving comes through its facilitating of fundraisers on Facebook. These fundraisers benefit all types of nonprofits, including many churches and groups like Focus on the Family, despite pressure from the political left to exclude some socially conservative groups (3)(4).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees and a specific benefits guide with a comprehensive explanation of transgender services funded by the company (1)(2). Meta protects its employees from religious and viewpoint discrimination (3).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company advocates for the Equality Act and transgender participation in women’s and girls’ sports (3) Facebook opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces (4). It also opposed Georgia’s voting integrity law (5). Meta opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (6). Facebook dedicated resources to LGBTQ Pride Month and “amplifying LGBTQ+ communities” even in countries where homosexual behavior is banned (7)(8). Moreover, Facebook partners with multiple LGBTQ advocacy groups and lobbyists, like the HRC (9). Facebook declared Kyle Rittenhouse a mass murderer before the trial even began and did not allow searches for his name or related content (10).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion (1). Meta’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company covers transgender related costs for its employees and their children, including paid short-term leave, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, chest surgeries, genital surgeries, medical visits and lab monitoring, travel and lodging. Additionally, the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (2)(3). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Meta is a member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (4)(5)(6). The company has donated over $40 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes (7)(8). Facebook is a corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (9). Facebook created a site with the Nation LGBT Chamber of Commerce to support LGBTQ-owned businesses (10). Meta is a titanium partner and Facebook is a silver partner of PFLAG, an LGBTQ+ activist group that promotes books for children with sexually explicit and gender fluid content and advocates against laws that inform parents of their child’s gender dysphoria or prevent unapproved transgender medical treatments for minors (11)(12)(13).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Meta’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Meta has lobbied for the Equality Act (3).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 22, 2024

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
5/31/23GovernanceNorthStar Asset Management, Inc. Funded Pension PlanDual Class Capital StructureAgainst27.90%
5/31/23SocialNational Legal and Policy CenterGovernment Takedown RequestAgainst0.40%
5/31/23SocialSumOfUsReport on Allegations of Political Entanglement and Content Management Biases in IndiaAgainst4.50%
5/31/23SocialMercy Investment Services, Inc.Human Rights Impact Assessment of Targeted AdvertisingAgainst16.80%
5/31/23GovernanceHarrington Investments, Inc.Performance Review of the Audit & Risk Oversight CommitteeAgainst6.60%
5/31/23SocialProxy ImpactReport on Child Safety Impacts and Actual Harm Reduction to ChildrenAgainst16.20%
5/31/23GovernanceUnited Church FundReport on Lobbying DisclosuresAgainst14.50%
5/31/23SocialAs You SowReport on Enforcement of Community Standards and User ContentAgainst7.10%
5/31/23EnvironmentalPresbyterians ChurchReport on Framework to Assess Company Lobbying Alignment with Climate GoalsAgainst9.80%
5/31/23SocialArjuna CapitalReport on Reproductive Rights and Data PrivacyAgainst9.60%
5/31/23GovernanceThe Shareholder CommonsReport on Pay Calibration to Externalized CostsAgainst7.10%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedCommission a Workplace Non-Discrimination AufitAgainst0.32%
5/25/22GovernanceN/A - UndisclosedGive Each Share An Equal VoteAgainst28.11%
5/25/22SocialThe Shareholder CommonsReport on External Costs of Misinformation and Impact on Diversified ShareholdersAgainst2.73%
5/25/22SocialArjuna CapitalReport on User Risk and Advisory Vote on the Metaverse ProjectAgainst2.96%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Charitable DonationsAgainst9.27%
5/25/22SocialHarrington Investments, Inc.Commission Assessment of Audit & Risk Oversight CommitteeAgainst10.47%
5/25/22GovernanceIllinois State TreasurerRequire Independent Board ChairAgainst16.71%
5/25/22SocialProxy ImpactReport on Child Sexual Exploitation OnlineAgainst17.28%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Risks Associated with Use of Concealment ClausesAgainst18.97%
5/25/22SocialAs You SowReport on Community Standards EnforcementAgainst19.24%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Lobbying Payments and PolicyAgainst20.60%
5/25/22SocialMercy Investment ServicesPublish Third Party Human Rights Impact AssessmentAgainst23.76%

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