From an email digest:
- Two big shareholders in Apple are launching an unusual campaign against the tech titan related to a perceived growing public-health crisis involving smartphone overuse and addiction by young people. Jana Partners, an activist investor, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System—which together control $2 billion of Apple shares—sent a letter to the iPhone maker urging it to develop new tools that will help parents control and limit phone use more easily and study the impact of excessive use on mental health. The investors believe that Apple’s shares could be hurt if it faces a backlash and that proactive moves could generate goodwill and keep consumers loyal to its brands. Apple wasn’t the only technology behemoth to face ethical concerns, however, as a growing roster of Facebook investors and former executives have publicly said that the social-media network is both psychologically addictive and harmful to democracy. The Journal’s Christopher Mims says Facebook and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg are at a crossroads similar to the one faced by tobacco companies when scientists started linking cigarettes to cancer, and posits “the multibillion-dollar question” to Mr. Zuckerberg: Is he willing to sacrifice revenue for the well-being of Facebook’s more than two billion users?