Study: Average Fortune 100 firm suffers 69 social media compliance incidents

Employees account for 12 incidents per firm, while people who comment account for 57 incidents per company.
Employees account for 12 incidents per firm, while people who comment account for 57 incidents per company.

The average Fortune 100 firm has 320 social media accounts, and the average Fortune 100 firm suffered from 69 compliance incidents between July 2013 and June 2014 as a result of posts made to and not removed from said social media accounts during that 12-month time period.

Those findings came from the “State of Social Media Infrastructure Part III” study from Nexgate, a division of Proofpoint, which over a year-long span analyzed compliance related to more than 32,000 social media accounts – including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more – belonging to Fortune 100 firms.

Altogether, nine different U.S. regulatory standards triggered incidents, including FINRA Retail Communications, FINRA Customer Response, FFIEC/Regulation Z, FTC Sweepstakes, and SEC Regulation FD, the study stated.

“Compliance violations pose a particular threat as they have serious financial and regulatory consequences,” Devin Redmond, VP and general manager of Nexgate for Proofpoint, was quoted as saying in a release.

The steep growth of social media is making it tough on those tasked with reviewing content for compliance risk, the study indicated. On average, 213,539 people who comment, as well as more than 1,159 employees, are making more than 500,000 posts to 320 accounts per company.

The study found that a mix of employees and people who comment are triggering social media compliance violations – employees account for 12 incidents per firm, while people who comment account for 57 incidents per company.

“FINRA financial service and FDA healthcare regulations are examples of standards with specific provisions covering Commenter postings,” the study stated. “These requirements require much larger scale compliance operations than regulations applied only to Brand posts.”

Financial services firms experienced more than 5,000 incidents, or more than 250 per firm, and ended up with the largest incident volume, the study shows, adding that financial services companies make up 21 of the Fortune 100 firms and have a strong social media presence.

The study also showed that FDA Adverse Drug Experience Risks experienced 98 incidents and was the most common healthcare social compliance risk.

“Under FDA guidelines, healthcare firms are required to notify the FDA of any report of an adverse drug experience by a consumer,” the study said. “Healthcare organizations must therefore monitor social channels for such reports.”

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