Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ont. government bans Facebook

Ont. government workers told to log off Facebook

What a throwback this is - did anyone actually do a study to determine who and how often and what they are doing on these site? This issue is so important that the Premier - the leader of the province -had to make the announcement? It reminds of the 1950's and 60's when you couldn't use a company phone to make a personal call.

Among the things that bothers me about this are:
1.Premier Dalton McGuinty says he doesn't see how Facebook adds value to a workplace environment.
2. Facebook joins YouTube, gambling websites and hard-core sex sites as forbidden fruit in any provincial government office.
3. Lack of respect for employees as responsible, discerning adults.
4. Government deciding on a "site" - why not ban all social networking sites? Why not ban web conferencing?

Can Facebook add value to a workplace? Arguably, it can. It is a social networking site - groups are formed for various reasons, professional and personal. The opportunity to network, connect - and stay in touch with people that may be of assistance to your work activities - why not?

What about messenger services or Skype - do the contacts list always have to be work related? How to define that? Facebook is now equivalent to a porn site? A total lack of respect for employees - what actually prompted this? Did all employees join up to facebook - were they meeting online? Oh, my God! Were they networking and getting things done? Was their productivity diminished?

And finally, if the government wants to start picking sites to block the IT folks will be very busy indeed. Monitoring all employees on a minute by minute basis to see what other social software toolset they are accessing - they'll be blocking Eduspaces, LinkedIn, Guesse, Orkit, Skype - the list goes on and on and change by the hour. Good luck to the IT censors! What a soul sucking job that would be.

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