Consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has come out with a study this week claiming that nearly one in four companies blocks employee access to social networks like Facebook and MySpace. It's a good story, which is why you see various news organizations
picking up the story and running with it
. Of course, if this sounds kind of familiar, that's because less than a year ago, some other company (this time it was a security company) came out with a report claiming that half of all businesses were blocking Facebook
. Now, if you assume that both reports are true, then that would suggest that fewer
firms are blocking Facebook than were last summer. Of course, chances are neither report is all that accurate. And, to be fair, the "headline" from the press on the second story was inaccurate: the actual study suggested that nearly half of all employees
were banned from accessing Facebook. In theory, that could be true if a few large companies banned their employees from using the site. Either way, there are companies who probably ban Facebook at work -- just like in the early days of the telephone there were those that banned telephones at work, and, more recently there were companies that banned email or the internet at work. Eventually, companies recognize that fearing communication tools tends to backfire. Embracing them tends to be a lot more productive.