I’ve learned that in a reversal of internal government policy this past week, Conservative ministerial staffers are once again permitted to keep a Facebook profile on the popular social networking website.
Indeed, Facebook has become the latest killer online app and for some, it has replaced email for messaging friends and scheduling events and parties.
Earlier, I opined that the ‘corporate’ Facebook ban implemented by the Conservatives on their political staff was a shrewd move made to prevent a hungry media and opposition from exploiting personal material not intended for “front-page” exposure. A complete ban may have been harsh, yet the careless use of the site would have also been less than ideal. Thus, in policy refinement and compromise, the government has found a new optimum that works for everyone.
I’ve learned that each department has been tasked with implementing a policy on the use of Facebook for their staff, particularly concerning which privacy settings ought to be adjusted to both allow employees the use of the popular social networking tool and to allow a government known for its tight messaging to keep any loose ends from sticking out. The policy might be considered analogous to any other employee code of conduct, but this one is specialized for a website.
Ministerial facebookers will be pleased by the move and their employers will remain conscious of how to maintain the ideal balance.