New York pension fund urges votes against Twitter and Meta admins over shootings

May 23 (Reuters) – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli calls for voting against the directors of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc at their upcoming meetings annual reports, saying the two companies failed to enforce their standards against harmful content. including a mass shooting in Buffalo, NY on May 14.

In letters seen by Reuters and sent to each company’s board of directors ahead of events scheduled for May 25, Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the New York pension fund, cited reports that the companies would not have removed video clips and screenshots of the shooter’s live stream, and his alleged racist manifesto, from their platforms.

Such shortcomings contribute to radicalizing individuals and lead to calls for further regulation of social media, DiNapoli wrote. He told both boards that until they can demonstrate an “ability to successfully oversee the company’s content management policies, the Fund will continue to vote against directors” and called on the other investors to do the same.

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Asked about the letters, a Twitter representative said it was taking action, including “removing videos and media related to the incident, as well as Tweets containing third-party links to the manifesto and videos of the offensive”.

Although the company reached an agreement to be bought by Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk for $44 billion, he tweeted that the deal was “temporarily on hold” and that a long delay or a cancellation could renew the importance of the annual meeting where two directors are up for election. Read more

“We cannot assume the deal will go through,” a DiNapoli spokesperson said.

Meta said he quickly called the shooting a “terrorist attack” which triggered a process to delete the suspect’s account and other material. “We have teams working around the clock on Meta to identify, remove and block violent content related to the shooting,” Meta said in a statement sent by a representative.

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Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston Editing by Chris Reese

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Dolores W. Simon