April 03, 2013
From the "Inevitable File"
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

You may remember that CEO Reed Hastings ran into trouble last year when he disclosed via his personal Facebook page that Netflix had exceeded 1 billion hours of video watched in a single month.  The SEC is letting Mr. Hastings slide on that, but clarified that in the future companies must first identify the social media outlets they will use to disclose company information.  This move seems easy and right-- unless the SEC wants to play little Dutch boy. There seems to be no stopping social media.  

Next question: how broadly will companies authorize social media disclosure?  Dealbook's Michael J. de la Merced observes that "the new move may reduce spontaneity because companies may limit their communications to official corporate accounts and file the information with the agency at the same time."  For example, unless Netflix authorized its CEO's personal Facebook page as a communications outlet, Hastings would still be in hot water.  

We'll see.



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