Got Earnings? Now You can Tweet it from the Rooftops

Back in December, I wrote about how Netflix CEO Reed Hastings ran afoul of SEC Fair Disclosure rules by
Roof-tops posting an update on Facebook about record viewing numbers.

There was much buzz about the SEC action at the time – previously the SEC said that public companies could use websites and even social media to announce information that was considered material, that is potentially stock price moving.  So why was Reed Hastings in hot water?

The SEC fine print said that the method used to share material info must be public and a recognized conduit of stock information for investors – these were debatable points for Netflix, but many thought that the SEC was being too strict.

The NY Times and many other news outlets reported yesterday that the SEC has provided additional guidance that explains how companies can safely use social media to make these kinds of announcements:  Here is an excerpt from the Times piece:

Now, the S.E.C. seems to be relaxing its stance.

After an investigation of several months, regulators said that
companies could treat social media as legitimate outlets for
communication, much like corporate Web sites or the agency’s own public
filing system called Edgar. The catch is that corporations have to make
clear which Twitter feeds or Facebook pages will serve as potential
outlets for announcements
.

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