The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. issued a Regulatory Notice providing guidance relating to social networking websites, blogs and other related communication methods. The question-and-answer format guidance touches on, among other things, member firm responsibilities in the areas of recordkeeping, the applicability of the suitability rule, and supervision of associated person participation on social web sites. The Notice was based on input FINRA received from a Social Networking Task Force (composed of FINRA staff and industry representatives) that examined the use of social media websites for legitimate business purposes. FINRA’s stated goal was to flexibly interpret its rules in ways that allow firms to utilize new technologies without sacrificing investor protection concerns.

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