It's no secret that the Associated Press has had a rather difficult time figuring out its place in the online world, often resorting back to weak attempts to re-enact the old walls and scarcities that simply don't exist in the internet world. Lately, it's been having a lot of trouble figuring out how to have its own employees interact on social networks -- first reprimanding
an employee for stating his personal opinion about an AP-member newspaper in his Facebook account. Now, however, the AP has released "staff guidelines" for how to use social networking sites
like Twitter and Facebook, and there are some highly questionable rules there. The one getting the most attention -- for good reason -- is the bizarre and troubling demand that those who use Facebook not only have to watch their own language, but the language of any friend that posts a comment on their Facebook "wall."
Seriously. They want AP employees to comb through any comments that friends/family/etc. post on their wall -- and if they "violate AP standards: any such material should be deleted." It's difficult to fathom how this could possibly make sense and isn't a huge burden for AP employees as well as obnoxious to their friends and family. Does the AP also tell its employees that when out to dinner with friends, they must "shush" them if their friends say anything not up to "AP standards"?