Meta (FACEBOOK, INC.) | Report on Lobbying Expenditures Disclosure at Meta (FACEBOOK, INC.)

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED, shareholders request the preparation of a report, updated annually, disclosing:
1. Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.
2. Payments by Meta used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.
3. Description of management’s and the Board’s decision-making process and oversight for making payments described in sections 2 above.
For purposes of this proposal, a “grassroots lobbying communication” is a communication directed to the general public that (a) refers to specific legislation or regulation, (b) reflects a view on the legislation or regulation and (c) encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation or regulation. “Indirect lobbying” is lobbying engaged in by a trade association or other organization of which Meta is a member.
Both “direct and indirect lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying communications” include efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
The report shall be presented to the Audit Committee and posted on Meta’s website
Supporting statement
Full disclosure of Meta’s lobbying activities and expenditures is needed to assess whether its lobbying is consistent with Meta’s expressed goals and shareholders’ best interests. In aggregate, Meta spent $127,622,000 from 2014 – 2022 on domestic federal lobbying. Meta also lobbies abroad, spending between €8,000,000 – 8,999,999 on lobbying in Europe for 2022.
Yet, Meta does not itemize how its lobbying payments are distributed to the 178 trade associations, social welfare groups (SWGs) and nonprofits listed on its website. This includes SWGs that lobby like the American Edge Project1 and National Taxpayers Union,2 and controversial nonprofits like the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI),3 Federalist Society,4 and State Policy Network. Industry peers such as Microsoft, Cisco and PayPal all disclose payment amounts used for lobbying.
Meta’s lack of disclosure presents reputational risk when it hides payments to dark money SWGs or contradicts company public positions. Meta has drawn attention for funding “dark money groups” to oppose antitrust regulation.5 Some EU lawmakers have called for a ban on Meta engaging with EU institutions due to “shady lobbying.”6 Meta supports privacy in public statements but lobbied to weaken privacy rules in the states.7 Meta’s lobbying has attracted heightened scrutiny and criticism in the wake of leaked internal documents indicating that the company has misled Congress, the public and securities regulators about risks to users, particularly youth.8 Meta has a Net Zero goal to address climate change, but continues to support CEI which is described as a “climate denialist think tank.”9
We urge Meta to expand its disclosure of its lobbying and public policy advocacy.
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