Canadian Politicians Embracing Facebook... Just As Staffers Are Banned From Facebook

from the logic,-please dept

Well, here's a nice contrast. Just as a bunch of Canadian politicians are learning to embrace Facebook as a way to interact with constituents, the powers that be in Ontario have decided that government staffers should be banned from using the site. Once again, this smacks of misunderstanding the problem at hand. There's no doubt that some staffers are using Facebook during work hours for non-work purposes. In fact, it's quite likely that some of them are abusing the privilege to some extent and spending an awful lot of time on Facebook. However, that should be clear in their work. If they're not getting work done, then it becomes an issue. If they are getting their work done, then what's the problem? Cutting off all government employees from a site (especially one that's quickly being adopted as a good way for politicians and constituents to communicate) is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It's blaming a site (which does have some benefits) for the misuse of the site. It's akin to the companies many years ago that banned telephones from office desks, claiming they were a distraction to workers.

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  1. identicon
    Fred Flint, 8 May 2007 @ 9:05am

    Missing the Point?

    Why are you all buying into the spin on this issue? It has nothing to do with wasting time and everything to do with leaking information, accidentally or not.

    Civil servants aren't always in agreement with their political 'masters' and I suspect Mr. McGuinty and his Liberal government are terrified of the sort of information that may, accidentally or not, appear on a Facebook space and engender a discussion.

    If the 'spin' on this was true, there are literally thousands of other web pages that would have to be banned.

    The Premier's statement: "I think Facebook is predominantly a social network," he said. "We understand that. It has its value, but we just don't really see how it adds value to work that you do in the workplace."

    In ten minutes I could probably find a hundred other sites to fit that criterion and none of them are banned.

    It's the public, open communications the Premier doesn't like because he can't control it.

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