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Beware of tweeters and bloggers, new social media rules for listed companies ASX GN8
Ignore social media at your peril. That is the message for the business world, where social media has cost some companies dearly. Now listed companies are required to monitor the internet to comply with their continuous disclosure obligations. And while it is a burden for some it is an opportunity for others.
TICKY FULLERTON, PRESENTER: Ignore social media at your peril, that's the message for the business world, where social media has cost some companies dearly.
Now listed companies are required to monitor the Internet to comply with their continuous disclosure obligations.
And while it's a burden for some, it's an opportunity for others.
Chief reporter Andrew Robertson has more.
ANDREW ROBERTSON, REPORTER: As Whitehaven Coal found out the hard way in January, social media can be a powerful and damaging tool. Its shares lost 6 per cent in a flash as social media lit up over a fake press release about the company's funding.
KEVIN LEWIS, ASX CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER: It's not so much the appearance of something in social media but what that means under our continuous disclosure framework and in particular whether it means that something you think is confidential has in fact lost confidentiality and therefore needs to be the subject of an announcement.
ANDREW ROBERTSON: Under its revised continuous disclosure regime, the ASX says listed companies should monitor those investor blogs, chat sites or other social media it's aware of that regularly comments about that listed entity.
Depending on the industry, sites like Hot Copper, Mumbrella, Bronte Capital or even Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Big companies like the Telstra and the banks already have social media policies. For smaller companies without the resources of the big end of town it's yet another cost of doing business.
ANDREW ROBERTSON: Because according to at least one man who works in this space, not knowing where to look can come at a high price such as a class action.
ALBERTO GOLLA, MINTER ELLISON LAWYERS PARTNER: It's inevitably going to be the case that if a company is slow in responding to an online leak that many hundreds, possibly thousands of shareholders will be affected and feel aggrieved.
ANDREW ROBERTSON: But as with any new regulations, there are winners and there are losers. Among the winners this time is a company called Kinship Digital which operates what it says is Asia's first dedicated social media monitoring facility in the Philippines. Its role is to give early warning to its corporate clients when it suspects a potential continuous disclosure breach on social media.
MIKE GREEN, KINSHIP DIGITAL CEO: Any rumours about acquisitions, selling of assets, mergers, any employer-related, union-based issues, any issues related to the market place itself.