January 25, 2010
FINRA Issues Guidance on Blogs and Social Networking
FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 10-06, Guidance on Blogs and Social Networking Web Sites. Here is the executive summary:
Americans are increasingly using social media Web sites, such as blogs and social networking sites, for business and personal communications. Firms have asked FINRA staff how the FINRA rules governing communications with the public apply to social media sites that are sponsored by a firm or its registered representatives. This Notice provides guidance to firms regarding these issues.
The notice emphasizes that each firm must develop its own policies and procedures — in the context of its own particular business model and compliance and supervisory programs — designed to ensure that the firm and its personnel are complying with all applicable regulatory requirements when using social networking sites. Some technology providers are developing systems that are intended to enable firms to retain records of communications made through social networking sites. As the Notice states, however, "FINRA does not endorse any particular technology to keep such records, nor are we certain that adequate technology currently exists."
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