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On Twitter and other forms of social media, it is pretty much anything goes beyond the obvious of course, such as stalking, harassing and making overt threats. And even then, people find it difficult to get the hammer to come down on these trolls.

But there are exceptions: Say you're a financial adviser. Or a pharmaceutical executive. Or insurance broker or stock market analyst for an investment bank.

If you fall into any of those categories — that is, if you're a  professional in a regulated industry  — and you make the wrong move on Twitter, then oh boy. The hammer comes down and quite painfully, too ... not from Twitter or Facebook, but from the state or federal regulators in question. 

Strict Standards

Tweeting about a great stock tip or perhaps a URL that leads to an article about how to write a will — even if the article was written by a third-party — can bring a down a world of pain on the author, not to mention the company, which can also be held liable not only by the regulator but also by any clients that wish to claim they were injured or misled by this seemingly “certified” advice.

But social media is an expected channel in which professionals are expected to play if they want to reach out to customers and grow their presence.

Talk about a Catch-22.

At one time, the standard approach was for companies to put a sound social media policy into place but even this approach has its limitations. For instance, interpreting the policy might be difficult if it is worded too vaguely. Conversely, if the policy is written too narrowly then the result would probably be an irregular stream of posts and tweets of the blandest nature possible.

A Big Data Answer to Compliance

It is into this conundrum that the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Cafyne (pronounced like the stimulant caffeine) has stepped with its now generally available eponymous rules-based tool that automates compliance using a combination of big data, machine learning and more pedestrian tools such as Hootsuite-like dashboards.

Basically this is what it does, founder and CEO Rohit Valia told CMSWire. "It identifies harmful content before the employee posts it online using a combination of tools similar to Hootsuite and a library of rules that can be customized."

The machine learning component allows the system to continually refine the combination of words that could run an employee afoul of a law. Or whatever else, for that matter, the company views as a danger.

For instance, Cafyne can be configured to keep employees from making fools of themselves online. No, that’s not an indictable offense, but it’s still a welcome safeguard.

Many Use Cases

Cafyne can be configured to focus on far more than just regulatory compliance — although that's its main selling point — or employees’ inadvertently dumb comments. Security, risk management and employee advocacy are also use cases. 

Employee advocacy is a particularly intriguing angle as companies often use their employees’ social media networks for marketing or brand representation. Highly-regulated companies, though, have shunned this strategy, Valia said.

There are more than 6,000 banks in the US and very few allow their employees to represent their brands on social media, he noted. “They could be great brand evangelist if allowed.”

How It Works

Cafyne monitors and archives all social media activity related to a company, including and most especially social media interactions by employees, which must go through the system before they can be posted.

Here is where the rule libraries come into play: they are used to identify possible missteps around brand and marketing violations, unauthorized IP disclosure and regulatory violations. These libraries are routinely updated with changes to HIPAA, FFIEC, FINRA, SEC or other industry-specific regulations.

If the system flags a possible violation, the post in question is routed to the security or compliance division in the company before it can go live.

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