Council staff face Facebook ban

Hampshire County Council is threatening to block staff from using the social networking site Facebook.

Bosses said they noticed an increase in use and during monitoring 46 employees were found to have regularly spent more than an hour on the site each day.


I find stories like this infuriating. If you don’t want employees to use social networking sites then block access to them. If staff are spending “too long” then in my opinion that says more about the quality of line management and supervision than it does about the individuals using the service.

Susie Squire, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Ultimately these people work for taxpayers in Hampshire.

“There is no way they should be spending this time when they are supposed to be doing their jobs on a social networking site.

Get a life Susie. What’s the difference between somebody spending a bit of time on Facebook, making a personal call, gossiping with the folks on the second floor for half an hour, or going outside every 30 minutes for a cigarette break? Employers need to grow up and stop trying to control how their staff interact with their friends.

Cllr Thornber added: “We have seen an increasing trend of the use of social networks.

“We are monitoring it carefully and if we feel there is any abuse we will block the use of that individual and they could be disciplined.

I wonder what criteria will be decided to determine whether the system has been abused. The usage stats can be misleading because people will browse to the site, then leave it running in the background on their computers. Reports on usage will show hours of use and hundreds of page views when in fact there might have been very little user interaction.

The main stat I look at these days is quantity of outbound data. That one is far more interesting, from a security perspective, than the length of time somebody is logged into the service for.