CEO’s Facebook post prompts action from SEC

Public companies take note, this story could relate to what you’re doing on social media.

The Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t a body you want to mess with. Just ask Martha Stewart.

This week, the SEC is taking aim at Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings, saying he violated public disclosure rules by posting to Facebook that users of the company’s video streaming service were watching nearly one billion hours of video per month.

Hastings published the post in July to his roughly 250,000 subscribers.

According to Mashable, “The SEC says it intends to either recommend a cease and desist proceeding or a civil injunction against Hastings and Netflix.”

Hastings insists the matter will be “cleared up quickly,” according to Reuters, and that he didn’t think the content of the post was “material.”

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter disagrees, telling the news service, “It’s totally disingenuous to say that his statement wasn’t material when the stock went from under $70 a share to more than $80 and the only data point was that post.”

PR departments, as well as those working in investor relations, at public companies should pay close attention to the outcome of this matter, because it could affect what you’re doing on social media.

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