Friday, August 10, 2007

Why is everyone banning FaceBook?

Have you heard that the UK government has now banned its employees from using FaceBook?

Well, they have, as have a number of private firms, who shall remain nameless in the interest of sparing them the shame they deserve.

Let's go back to the UK government's decision for a moment, though.

It says it doesn't want its employees using FaceBook for fear that they will not get any work done.

That really helps to instill my faith in civil servants' commitment to their jobs. Cheers.

You can just hear the Homer Simpsonesque grumble..."Stupid working".

Can't you just see the next Prime Minister's Questions:

David Cameron (who no doubt has lots of hoodies as "friends" on his personal FaceBook account): "So, Mr Brown, why has your government banned its employees from using FaceBook?"

Gorden Brown (Scottish droll): "Britain will stand united against terrorism."

It's absurd.

Here's a newsflash: Banning FaceBook, YouTube, MySpace, or any other social networking site, will not solve corporate and government productivity dilemmas.

If companies and government really want to know how their employees are spending their time online, they should check out the lunchtime hits on travel sites like Expedia.

Three words: Through...The...Roof.

Translation: Employees are more interested in leaving work...not hanging out at their desk talking to some other poor slob whose bored at his desk.

Leave FaceBook alone!

Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer, Travolution


Anonymous said...

Erm... cos people are spending hours on it everyday exhanging messages with their outside of work friends (adding you workmates is a danger, when they can see what time you've been updating it!) With the best will in the world, Expedia et al will only really get attention when people are planning a trip - but Facey B (which is what the kids are calling it now btw) is a daily pastime.

Having said that i don't want to see it banned, but is prob a bit inevitable like monitoring of personal emails... shame!

Dan G. said...

According to Danah Boyd, an American academic who studies these things, the US Army has banned MySpace but not Facebook.

That's because the rank and file were wasting their time on MySpace but Facebook, started by a Harvard grad, is more your officer-class time waster.

Here's a link to her essay

Stephen A. Joyce said...

I would never consider banning any website through our corporate network. In fact, we encourage our employees to use SN sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, WIWIH, and others to promote their successes at work. That said, we are software company so the expectations are different. Seems to me it would be more effective to remind employees that their online activities are monitored and leave it at that.

Travolution Blogger said...

Travel company Thomson did this early June:

More here.