FINRA Reviewing Social Media
FINRA is conducting targeted reviews of social media communications including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs. FINRA published a request list that asks firms for an explanation of how the firm and its registered reps use social media. FINRA also asks firms to provide its written supervisory procedures “concerning the production, approval and distribution of social media communications” and an explanation of how firms monitor compliance with its social media policies. FINRA considers social media communications as a form of electronic communications subject to Rule 2210(c)(6).
OUR TAKE: Firms should have separate WSPs (or at least a section of the electronic communications procedures) devoted exclusively to social media including content, use, and testing procedures (e.g. training, certification, technology). RIAs should follow the same guidance as the SEC treats social media like any other firm communication subject to the advertising rules.