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
    Dalton McGuinty, 7 May 2007 @ 10:34am

    It's a union shop

    The problem with the argument of "whats the big deal if they get their work done" is that government employees are unionized. They can't be fired just for not doing their work. If they get charged with a criminal offence, then maybe they could be fired. Otherwise the only other 2 ways to get rid of them are by retirement, or layoffs. And layoffs are by seniority, so even then, you can't necessarily get rid of the ones you want to...

    In a non-unionized environment, your argument would be much easier to uphold.

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