Banning Facebook in Companies

Yep, your corporate communications are excellent – who needs social networks indeed! 😛

Here’s a newspaper article about British companies banning Facebook, followed by an awesome blog post about repercussions of banning Facebook in the Corporate environment.

Our study found British Gas, the Met, Lloyds TSB and Bristows law firm all had internet filters preventing sites such as

Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and Hotmail being viewed at work.

A spokesman for Credit Suisse said: “Staff are forbidden from accessing the site while at work as it is thought that they are wasting company time and money.”

A member of staff at investor Dresdner Kleinwort said: “The ban is widespread across all banking offices.”

A spokesman for the law consultant-firm ELAS said companies-were well within their rights to sack staff for logging on to Facebook and that the site had caused numerous problems.

So here’s some arguments to help you fight the good fight – i.e. if you are trying to stop your organisation from blocking Facebook and other social network sites. It’s only a summary so you need to go to the original article which is articulate and well thought out. Those of you who have been to my social media in corporate presentations would be familiar with the concepts below – Confused in Calcutta really puts it elegantly.

Facebook and the enterprise: Part 1
Perspective 1: We have all been here before – Banning Facebook is the equivalent of banning coffee shops and water coolers and loos. And phone use for “personal’ calls.
Perspective 2: Playing King Canute is not a smart thing to do– Every day 100,000 people that we might want to hire sign up with Facebook. Soon they will be asking potential employers “What’s your Facebook policy?” and losing interest as we ruefully explain our troglodyteness.
Perspective 3: Never drive dissent underground – That’s what will happen if you drive Facebook out of the enterprise. They will go somewhere else. Some company else. So we should make the effort to encourage them to stay.
Perspective 4: Concentrate on outputs – When you stop people from using things like Facebook, you are spending time concentrating on inputs rather than outputs. Results matter, not efforts.
Perspective 5: When you can’t beat them, join them – ” I believe that it is only a matter of time before enterprise software consists of only four types of application: publishing, search, fulfilment and conversation.”

Got this from Trib on Twitter (Stephen Collins of Canberra) – he linked me to Confused of Calcutta, probably in response to my post on New Zealand blogger, Half Geek.

What companies in Australia ban facebook please?
EDIT: First one in: Duncan Riley wrote in Techcrunch about Telstra ban of Facebook
In the interest of laziness errr wisdom of the crowds, please write on the Facebook Group wall of

Companies that BAN Facebook and social networks – Australia

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

2 thoughts on “Banning Facebook in Companies

  1. Thanks for the hat tip, Laurel. I also posted a fairly lengthy response to JP’s excellent series over at acidlabs. Your readers may be interested.

    As for organisations that block social computing tools, it’s pretty much the norm for Federal Government departments to block any of these sorts of tools, for any number of the reasons we’re used to – distrust, value of information inside the wall, time wasting, productivity, etc. They are still very much on the far-right end of the adoption curve both in terms of uptake and organisational culture. I discuss this in the post linked above.

    This fact alone can make consulting in this space in Canberra a very frustrating experience at times. I’m looking for non-Canberra (or local, more adventurous) clients as a way to relieve my growing frustration.

    JP is on the money, you are on the money, and I like to think I am as well. Business and government will eventually come around. In the meantime, we take it upon ourselves to chip away at the wall around the gardens and try to be resilient about the resistance we face.

  2. And earlier this week I had a meeting with a v large company IT manager who said that she was having difficulty getting people internally to use blogs…. Go figure.

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