Twitter Inc | Human / Civil Rights Expert on Board at Twitter Inc

AGM date
Proposal number
6
Resolution details
Company ticker
TWTR
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Amend board structure
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Board-related issues
Company sector
Technology
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Shareholders request Twitter’s Nominating and Governance Committee nominate for the next Board election at least one candidate who: • has a high level of human and/or civil rights expertise and experience and is widely recognized as such, as reasonably determined by Twitter’s Board, and • will qualify as an independent director within the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange.
Whereas clause
Shareholders believe Twitter requires expert, board level oversight of civil and human rights issues to assess risk and develop strategy to avoid causing or contributing to widespread violations of human or civil rights, such as voter suppression, disinformation, or violence. Twitter reports ...if we are not able to address user concerns regarding the safety and security of our products and services or if we are unable to successfully prevent or mitigate...abusive... behavior on our platform, the size of our engaged user base may decline. Civil rights advocates have criticized Twitter for ineffectively addressing racism, sexism, and hate speech. Henry Fernandez, Center for American Progress, says, The muted efforts of giant social media companies to address racial violence and hate crimes perpetrated via their platforms have had terrible consequences, noting white nationalist rhetoric being fueled on social media leading to real-world violence including mass killings in El Paso, Texas; Gilroy, California; and, Christchurch, New Zealand. The January 2021 insurrection was also largely a result of violent rhetoric, misinformation, and organizing on Twitter. Last year, Lauren Underwood, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation called out Twitter’s use by organizations attempting to silence Black voters, requesting disclosure of measures put in place to counter voter suppression, interference, and disinformation targetingBlack voters. A Senate report on Russia’s election interference using social media platforms concluded, No single group of Americans was targeted by information operatives more than African-Americans. Ranking Digital Rights reports: Facebook, Google (Youtube), and Twitter lack oversight and risk assessment mechanisms that could help them identify and mitigate the ways that their platforms can be used by malicious actors to organize and incite violence or manipulate public opinion. Amnesty International’s 2021 Twitter Scorecard states, For many women and nonbinary persons, Twitter is a platform where violence and abuse against them flourishes, often with little accountability. Amnesty found 23 percent of women experienced abuse or harassment at least once on Twitter. While Twitter claims to have enhanced safety and privacy measures, 82 percent of women believe Twitter remains the same or worse at addressing hateful and abusive content. As fiduciaries, our Board is responsible for stewardship of business performance and must effectively manage risk factors like violations of human and civil rights. Strategic Management Journal reports misalignment between the board’s expertise and the firm’s future risks has negative implications for firm performance. Amidst civil and human rights controversies, Twitter’s stock price has risen approximately 10 percent since its IPO, compared to a 167 percent rise of the S&P 500.