WASHINGTON, Wed Apr 3, 2013 — Regulators said on Tuesday that companies can use Twitter, Facebook and other social media to make key announcements as long as they tell investors which sites they will use, an effort to help companies navigate the new media age.
The guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to clarify disclosure rules after the agency opened an inquiry into a post made last July on the personal Facebook page of Netflix’s chief executive, Reed Hastings.
The SEC investigated whether his announcement that the movie and TV streaming service had hit 1 billion hours viewed in June violated a rule that requires important information to be disclosed to investors at the same time.
The SEC said on Tuesday that it did not initiate an enforcement action or allege wrongdoing in that situation.
But it said staff learned that there was uncertainty about how disclosure rules apply to social media channels.
“One set of shareholders should not be able to get a jump on other shareholders just because the company is selectively disclosing important information,” George Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.