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Matt Rourke / AP

At its annual meeting on Thursday, Facebook shareholders rejected a proposal that the company prepare a report on employee pay across gender and ethnicity.

Facebook's board, which recommended against the proposal, argued that it already has systems in place to combat pay inequality. Arjuna Capital, which submitted the idea, says that third-party data suggests there are still gaps.

Why it matters: Along with hiring, pay gaps have also become a hot topic in Silicon Valley's conversation about diversity. Google is currently embroiled in a court battle over allegations that it's not paying female employees as much as men. Meanwhile, Salesforce has now audited its employee pay two years in a row, and spent $6 million to fill in the gaps, according to the company.

Other highlights from the shareholder meeting:

  • New capital structure: Facebook's plan to restructure in order for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to retain control is still delayed by a lawsuit, so not expected before 2018 at the earliest, said the company.
  • Fake news: The company plans to approach the issue similarly to spam, and wants to make it easier for users to access a spectrum of viewpoints.
  • Oculus: Facebook doesn't plan on making much profit from its Oculus hardware in the next few years—instead it's focused on building content and software and making virtual reality tech as widely available as possible.
  • China: The company wants to reach people in China, but it's taking its time to figure how to best do this.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.