Fisher Funds does have direct investments in Facebook and Alphabet on behalf of our clients. Like the vast majority of New Zealanders we are shocked and upset by the events on Friday 15 March.
Fisher Funds has advised both Facebook and Google that we are very unhappy about their inability to keep footage of the events in Christchurch off their platforms. We have sought to engage with them to understand how this has happened and what investments they are making to ensure this cannot happen again in the future.
Fisher Funds has chosen not to take any action beyond this at this time as the other side of the social media argument is that these platforms also do a tremendous amount of good. In the wake of terror attacks globally it has been a place for people to mark themselves as safe, get in touch with loved ones, organise events / fundraising and otherwise support those impacted. More broadly it allows the public to communicate with friends and family, engage with their communities and become better informed about the world around them. The debate on social media has a long way to go.
These platforms need to ensure they are doing all they can to protect users and the broader community, while still allowing people to benefit from the increased connectedness these tools provide.
Investment is about making long term quality decisions in clients best interest, that are considered and balanced. The decision on social media companies investment is no different, and will remain under review.