Reed Hastings' "public" Facebook pageBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // December 11, 2012 in Facebook
Many thanks to Ellie K for her comment over the weekend and her link to the discussion on Kid Dynamite's blog about the SEC looking into Reed Hastings' non-public disclosure on Facebook of possibly material Netflix information.
According to the 8-K, the Hastings response is to be posted on the Hastings Facebook page: "A copy of a statement that will be made by Mr. Hastings to subscribers on his publicly available Facebook page is attached as Exhibit 99.1."
I might be misunderstanding how Facebook is supposed to work, or might be finding a separate, restricted version of the page I am looking for, but here's what I get when I click to the most obvious search result for Reed Hastings' Facebook page.
That's right, I don't get disclosure about Netflix. I get a request that I sign up for Facebook.
And when I close the solicitation, here's what I get.
A very public disclosure of absolutely nothing. No public status updates, no private status updates, no status updates at all.
In a response to one of my comments on his blog, Kid Dynamite explains to me that one can link to a given public status update, and so that way a given Facebook status update can be spread virally. Presumably this process moves the news all around Facebook and eventually outward to more open social media. Call it a crowdsourced determination of materiality - if it's important enough, the disclosure will make the rounds!
Well, it's an aggressive move, to combat a federal agency's allegation that posting to Facebook is non-public by doubling down and using Facebook to belittle the allegation. Of course, this time, lawyers are involved, so an 8-K precedes this particular Facebook posting.
But as far as I can tell, the second Facebook posting is as hidden to non-Facebook subscribers as the first.