Info-tech

SEBI to join social networking bandwagon

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

SEBI is hiring specialist IT officers, whose role would include keeping track of social media platforms like Twitter and blogs for all market-related information, comments and discussions.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India seems to be the latest to catch the fancy of social networks like Twitter, Facebook and blogs for spreading its message to investors as also to snoop on discussions at these platforms as part of its investigation and oversight activities.

SEBI is hiring specialist IT officers, whose role would include keeping track of social media platforms like Twitter and blogs for all market-related information, comments and discussions.

The market regulator is also toying with the idea of having its own official presence on Twitter and other social networks to strengthen its information dissemination process for investors and other market participants, a senior official said.

The Reserve Bank of India is also considering a presence on social networking platforms like Twitter.

Late last year, RBI conducted a survey to know whether it should make its web interface more interactive with features like discussion forum, live chat and blogs on its website, and by having a Twitter presence for information dissemination.

Recently, the Prime Minister’s Office also debuted on Twitter and is said to be exploring the idea of having a presence on Facebook as well.

Dissemination of information

A number of organisations globally, including regulators and government departments, are increasingly using Twitter and other such platforms for fast dissemination of information and collating the public views.

Even the US President, Mr Barack Obama, and his official residence and workplace, the White House, have a presence on Twitter and various other online platforms such as blogs.

In India also, some ministries and many corporates are present on Twitter, while a number of public figures are active members of this micro-blogging site.

Market manipulation

Experts say that social media platforms have become a very effective place to spread the information fast, but at the same time, they are also being used by various scrupulous elements, including those in the stock market.

There are numerous blogs where members discuss stock market trends and in many cases stock tips are also exchanged.

Leading social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also full of such discussions and it is feared that scrupulous elements could be using such forums for their market manipulation activities.

On many occasions, SEBI has warned investors against websites offering stock tips. In one such warning, it has said that the investors expose themselves to undue risk in using unconfirmed information available on such websites and blogs.

SEBI has recently put in place software tools to analyse social networking discussions to strengthen its probe and oversight on stock market transactions.

Published on February 12, 2012

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