Canada's biggest banks join boycott of Facebook platforms – Reuters
FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration/File Photo
TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s biggest lenders confirmed on Friday they had joined a widespread boycott of Facebook Inc (FB.O) begun by U.S. civil rights groups seeking to pressure the world’s largest social media platform to take concrete steps to block hate speech.
More than 400 brands have pulled advertising on Facebook in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, begun after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Canadian lenders Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) all said they will pause advertising on Facebook platforms in July.
Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest federation of credit unions, also said on its website on Thursday it will pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month “barring any exceptional situations where we need to communicate with our members or clients.”
Most cited their commitments to inclusion and diversity.
Facebook has opened itself up to a civil rights audit and has banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram, a spokesman said by email. Its investments in artificial intelligence mean it finds nearly 90% of hate speech it takes action on before users report it, he added.
BMO said it is continuing its “ongoing dialogue with Facebook on changes they can make to their platforms to reduce the spread of hate speech.”
RBC said one way to help clients and communities is to stand against “misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive.”
Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Marguerita Choy
Why Canadian investors can fall behind by staying at home – BNN
The year is half over and global equity markets have recovered most of the losses caused by the unprecedented shutdown of the global economy.
That’s the good news. As we enter the second half of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from under control, the threat of another economic freeze is real, and this year’s gains are tenuous.
And for Canadian investors with too much Canada in their portfolios, it’s a longer climb to break even for the year.
The murky outlook has many long-term investors saving for retirement in a holding pattern until the corporate world can accurately forecast earnings. If their portfolios are properly diversified gains from the good companies, geographic regions and sectors should more than compensate for losses in weaker areas over time.
In the meantime, mid-year is a great opportunity to see how your portfolio is stacking up against the markets and to appreciate the importance of managing risk through diversification. If performance is lacking it might be time to make some tweaks.
Even after a remarkable second quarter, the S&P/TSX Composite Index is down nearly ten per cent so far this year. The global economic freeze, combined with a crash in crude oil prices hit the resource-heavy Canadian stock market hard. Energy-related stocks are still at about half their value since the beginning of 2020. Canadian financials, which include the big banks and insurance companies, helped stem the loss but are still down almost 20 per cent from the start of the year. Many stocks and sectors helped buoy the TSX but when two-thirds of all stocks are either financials or resource related, there aren’t many places to hide.
Canadian-listed stocks account for less than three per cent of publicly-traded stocks globally. In comparison, U.S. stocks account for about half and are much better diversified by sector and geography. Many of the companies listed in the U.S. have a global reach, which gives Canadians easy access to the world through our southern neighbours.
Like the TSX, the blue-chip heavy Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about ten per cent and the more globally diversified S&P 500 has managed to keep year-to-date losses at three per cent.
However, the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite is actually posting a gain of almost 14 per cent as investors bet stocks like Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. will continue to thrive under the threat of pandemic.
Canadians who got global exposure in Canadian dollars took a slight hit on a loonie that has slipped since the start of the year (73 cents to the U.S. dollar from 77 cents) but Canadians trading in U.S. dollars got an additional boost when you convert to Canadian dollars.
Regardless of the currency, many globally-focused Canadian portfolios are getting some relief from emerging markets including China, India and Brazil. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has managed to hold year-to-date losses at five per cent after plunging more than thirty per cent in March due to the added strain of U.S.-China tensions.
It’s not easy for the average investor to outperform the broader markets, but a properly diversified portfolio should at least reflect them. If your portfolio returns are looking too much like the TSX and not enough like the rest of the world, it might be time to let your money venture beyond our borders.
Facebook Advertising Exodus Could Benefit Smaller Businesses, says Local Entrepreneur – VOCM
Large international advertisers are fleeing the Facebook platform in light of the Black Lives Matter and the Stop Hate for Profit movements. While the impact on Facebook has been significant in terms of advertising dollars, it’s doubtful large companies will abandon the platform altogether.
That’s according to Terry Hussey of Vigilant Management, who is skeptical about the reason why big advertisers are leaving Facebook.
He says a lot of corporations were about to slash their advertising budgets anyway due to the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19.
Josh Taylor of txtsquad says larger advertisers leaving the platform is good news for smaller and medium-sized businesses that rely on social media to serve their customer base, but he doesn’t believe the big advertisers can skip Facebook completely. He says while there are some real challenges related to the social media platform, he calls it a “workhorse” that has defied predictions that it is on the way out.
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