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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images

Facebook shareholders attending the company’s annual meeting Thursday will be the targets of a campaign urging them to replace CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also chairs the company's board, with an independent chair.

Why it matters: It’s the first move in a progressive coalition’s efforts to target Facebook with a political-style campaign focused on calls for regulators to break up the social media empire.

The details:

  • The “Freedom from Facebook” coalition, a collection of progressive groups like Open Markets Institute and Demand Progress, plans to fly a plane above the company’s Menlo Park headquarters during the annual meeting — dragging a banner that reads “You Broke Democracy.”
  • One member of the coalition, SumOfUs, is an institutional shareholder of Facebook urging other shareholders to “withhold” on Zuckerberg’s appointment to the board in favor of an independent chair. (SumOfUs filed an exempt solicitation letter with the SEC to this effect.)
  • The group called for the appointment of a risk oversight committee, and a report on how the company is managing content governance — including election interference, fake news and hate speech.
  • There will also be a digital ad campaign targeting the shareholder meeting and Facebook’s office locations around the country. (View the “Don’t Get Zucked” ad here.)

Reality check: The shareholder proposal doesn’t stand a chance of getting approved (Zuckerberg himself holds majority voting control of the company) and the current FTC isn’t interested in breaking up Facebook. Still, this is the start of what could be a sustained campaign and drum-beat behind the coalition’s calls for more regulatory action and new accountability measures.

Go deeper: David McCabe reported the details of the coalition's launch earlier this month.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 8 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 8 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

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