Blogging equals full and fair disclosure

Over at Social Media Release they have picked up on blogging’s continued evolution into the mainstream of communications with a post from Chris Heuer on how blogs have been accepted as meeting the requirements of Fair Disclosure for the purposes of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
This stems from a letter from SEC Chief Christopher Cox to Scott McNeely of Sun requesting clarification on whether the Internet adequately meets current regulatory requirements.

Here’s what Chris has to say on the matter:

• how cool that he actually posted it in the context of the post he was replying to - at first I was concerned that I did not see the coment (sic) on the original post (which is where I would have put it) - but being able to make it relevant to another point - I can just see him reading it and feeling that sense of inspiration that many of us have felt when joinging in “OMG, I ‘get it’ - all I need to do is say what I am thinking right here and everyone can listen in or even join.” Just cool - total respect for this smart move
• for us more directly, his statement is telling - his questions show a natural and deserving bias towards accepting this very logical conclusion - modern Web technology and network infrastructure, unobstructuted by discriminatory network access policies and practices, is sufficient to meat Regulation Fair Disclsoure - this is what I have been discussing with so many of the wire services over the last few months
• the other interesting thing - he still sent the letter with the snails - there is a need to have the ability for validating both the source and the content of the communications vis a vis a mutually trusted source - this is what I have been talking about for a long time around the value of the wire services fully shifting from that of being the distribution platform to being the source for validating the authenticity of the content - we will be making an announcement about this issue in the near future
• he ok’d the use of blogs and corporate Web sites - Quoting Mr. Cox “Indeed, because information that is not “selectively disclosed” or that is not material nonpublic information is not subject to the public dissemination provisions of Regulation FD, Sun and other public companies can already do this without implicating the provisions of Regulation FD.”
• It more fully opens the possibility of using a Social Media Release Microformat to distinguish between unofficial and offical corporate communications
• the timing is perfect.

These are all good points well made by Chris. What heartens and surprises me is how fast we have come to this point particularly with an organization like SEC – Sun obviously gets it because Web2.0 is their schtick – but I thought the SEC would be too corporate, too pinstripe to adopt it so quickly.

It would be interesting to test the case with the regulatory authorities in Europe and the UK particularly with the Financial Services Authority and the London Stock Exchange who are so tight-arsed about protecting their position. Is this the start of true shareholder democracy?

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