Regulator seeks to shut Facebook pages on market speculation
The stockmarket regulator has urged Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to shut 116 Facebook pages that give advice on investment and are being used to spread information on listed companies.
However, BTRC may not be able to block those Facebook pages as the social networking site is not under its control, said an official.
Although it is prohibited by securities rules, numerous Facebook accounts are engaged in spreading rumours and false and baseless information that often mislead the general investors, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission said.
“The capital market is a sensitive place; this is no place to spread such information or rumours,” Saifur Rahman, an executive director of the BSEC, said in a letter to the telecom regulator.
No person is allowed to induce, dissuade, effect, prevent or in any manner influence or turn to his or her advantage the sale or purchase of any security, directly or indirectly, according to securities rules.
But the Facebook accounts, which are opened with fake identities, predict market trends and disclose price sensitive information such as dividends, and quarterly- and half-yearly earnings.
One can find hundreds of such accounts at every search using keywords such as stock, DSE, CSE, investor, share, bull or bear. Thousands of investors are linked to these accounts, and willingly or unwillingly, follow the easy-to-get advice posted there.
However, it would be difficult for BTRC to control the diffusion of stockmarket information through Facebook. “We can only write to the Facebook authority, requesting it to block the accounts, and then it's their decision,” said a BTRC official.
In the last one year, the BTRC filed about 250 complaints with the Facebook authority, and received only a few responses.