SEC Clears Social Media As An Acceptable Form For Company Announcements

On April 2, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued a report confirming that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make company announcements in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD) as long as investors are alerted as to which social media outlet is being used by the company.  The report was issued following an investigation into a Facebook posting made by Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.  The SEC declined to pursue an enforcement action against Mr. Hastings.

Regulation FD requires that companies take steps to ensure that material information is disclosed to the general public in a fair and fully accessible manner such that the public as a whole has simultaneous access to the information.  Regulation FD is designed to ensure that all investors are on an even playing field in terms of access to material information.  Regulation FD ended the era of invitation-only conference calls between company management and a select group