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Should Wall Street Monitor Brokers’ Private Social Media?

Regulatory body wants to check for disclosure, consistency


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is seeking the authority to monitor stock broker’s social media activities.

FINRA claims to be concerned about how brokers use social media — whether for personal or professional reasons — to make or spread information about investments, CNN reports.

Investment brokers are currently required to disclose potential conflicts of interest and to maintain records of all business communications. However, some states prohibit employers from monitoring the social media accounts of their employees. In some cases, when postings have been brought to employer’s attention, brokers have lost their jobs when their comments crossed the line.

FINRA is now asking that broker-dealers be excluded from such laws to protect investors. In a letter to sent to the states, FINRA writes, “Prohibiting access to these accounts conflicts with a firm’s responsibilities to comply with federal requirements and threatens investor protection.”

For now, no state has altered its policies concerning the monitoring of social media.

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