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$68B Australian super fund pressures Facebook to censor “misinformation”

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A super fund that has invested more than $130 million in Meta, Facebook’s parent company, accused Facebook of allowing the spread of “misinformation.”

HESTA, a $68 billion worth super fund dedicated to health workers, called for more regulation to curb the spread of misinformation.

“It’s a threat to public health,” said HESTA’s CEO Debby Blakey, as reported by WAToday. “Lack of action is potentially having a big impact on the health and wellbeing of our members through misinformation around vaccinations.”

HESTA has responded to its concerns by filing a shareholder resolution about what the platform is doing to prevent the spread of misinformation.

The super fund is concerned that Facebook prioritizes “internal financial return over healthy social and environmental systems.”

“While the company may profit by inflicting social costs, its diversified shareholders pay the bill,” the resolution stated. “In contrast, our CEO is not diversified. His wealth is concentrated in company shares: unlike most shareholders, his investments do not absorb the social costs the company creates.”

Blakey pointed out that “misinformation” has had real-world consequences, especially for developing economies.

“There was an example out of India where there were false rumors around causes of COVID, for example, that eating chicken and non-vegetarian food caused COVID. It created a huge loss for the poultry industry and loss of livelihood for farmers. The impact in terms of health, in terms of spreading concern and breaking down confidence in society is very important. What I would love to do is have an opportunity to understand how the company is assessing that. It’s why we’re interested in them producing a report.”

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