Both COVID19 and the recent social protests supporting the #Blacklivesmatter movement have made it clear that some aspects of social, environmental and corporate governance (ESG) criteria, have not been met with enough tenacity and speed.
In particular, social criteria is of great concern and forces us to admit that there has been a great deal of shyness in the approach on how to tackle discrimination and protection of children. This should make us reflect on the role that companies can play in a cultural change.
According to the proxy statement for the shareholders meeting 2020, Facebook has been sued in a Texas court for facilitating sex trafficking and Instagram has been linked to “rampant sex trafficking, child sexual abuse grooming, as well as adult fetishization of young girls”.
It is true that after several questions, Facebook has opted for the appointment of an advisory board, which has experts in Social Affairs. Even so, institutional investors have echoed the risk that these issues may pose for the company, and have decided to include various shareholder proposals aimed at the incorporation of experts in the field of Human Rights in the Board of Directors, the strengthening of disclosure mechanisms associated with social risk and the “publication of a report by February 2021 assessing the risk of increased sexual exploitation of children as the Company develops and offers additional privacy tools such as end-to-end encryption.“