- Reuters / Joshua Roberts
- An SEC commissioner last week urged new rules for how executives use Twitter and other social media.
- “It might be time for us to come forward and say, here are some principles of this game,” Robert Jackson said, according to Bloomberg.
- Social media has been an acceptable venue for corporate announcements for years, following an SEC rule change.
- However, it most recently caught Tesla CEO Elon Musk in hot water, which resulted in a lengthy court battle.
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In the wake of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter saga that resulted in a flurry of lawsuits, one of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s four leaders is urging the stock market regulator to set new rules for C-suite social-media use.
“Without prejudging a particular matter, it might be time for us to come forward and say, here are some principles of this game,” Robert Jackson, who was appointed to the SEC by President Donald Trump in 2018, said at an industry conference last week, according to Bloomberg.
The SEC did not respond to a request from Business Insider for Jackson’s full comments, but the reported quote echoes a Jackson’s May dissension, published shortly after the agency came to an agreement with Tesla and Musk about how to monitor the billionaire’s Twitter use in order to avoid another failed go-private bid catalyzed by what turned out to be a lie.
“What’s important to me is that the legal principles we’ve always had in the securities markets apply to all the innovative things that are happening,” Jackson continued, per Bloomberg. “But Twitter is a little different. It’s a medium; it’s informal. It can be responsive, there can be retweets, there can be a conversation, in ways that are not contemplated by every single SEC rule.”
Twitter has been a fair platform for corporate announcements for years, Bloomberg points out, ever since the agency in 2013 agreed with Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings. Tweets can comply with Regulation FD – a seminal disclosure rule cited by the SEC in both instances – so long as investors are notified of the post in question, the agency said.
Musk, perhaps more than any other executive in the world, has embraced that very aspect of Twitter highlighted by Jackson. In recent months, even despite the amended agreement with regulators, Musk has continued to engage with his 27 million followers about everything from memes, to robots, AI, space, and more.
On Monday, however, Musk said he had “just deleted” his Twitter account. More than 12 hours later, that appeared to be a lie, as the account was still active.