The recent, and some say extremely onerous, social media compliance rules proposed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council join a bevy of existing rules from regulators such as FINRA and the SEC. Unless a bank has a large pool of employees who can monitor social media activity, it will need to use some kind of social media compliance software to monitor not only what its employees are saying on social media, but what the public is saying about the bank - even if it's made a conscious decision not to engage on Twitter, Facebook and the like. The FFIEC calls for a thorough social media risk management program anyway.

The FFIEC's description of social media includes interactive online communication on Facebook, Google Plus, MySpace and, Twitter, forums, blogs, customer review web sites and bulletin boards (such as Yelp); photo and video sites (such as Flicker and YouTube); professional networking sites (LinkedIn); virtual worlds (Second Life); and social games (FarmVille and CityVille).

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