The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday demonstrated willingness by at least one part of the U.S. federal government to embrace the 21st century.

Companies now have the OK from the SEC to share their earnings and updates via social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook. The only stipulation in the new reporting format is that businesses must direct their investors to where the detailed information will be provided.

No longer restricted to heavy paper reports that come via snail mail, corporations can now share key information via channels where stakeholders (and undoubtedly shareholders) are already present and engaged.

Stephen Diamond, a securities law professor at Santa Clara University’s School of Law, summed up how the decision demonstrates the SEC’s business and communications savvy.  The policy change “shows a commission that’s being flexible and responsive, and it shows a government agency that actually thinks innovation is a good thing,” said Diamond.

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