The shareholder resolution cites a Pew report that found that 64 percent of Americans are confused by fake news stories and a Buzzfeed story which found that fake news headlines were more popular than real news stories on Facebook. The resolution warns that the prevalence of fake news on Facebook poses a number of risks to the company — including government regulation and fines and a loss in reputation that could lead users to abandon the platform.
As a first step in dealing with the fake news epidemic, the resolution calls for Facebook to produce a detailed report on the issue.
“Shareholders request Facebook issue a report (at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary or legally privileged information) reviewing the public policy issues associated with fake news enabled by Facebook,” the shareholder resolution states. “The report should review the impact of current fake news flows and management systems on the democratic process, free speech, and a cohesive society, as well as reputational and operational risks from potential public policy developments.”