I haven't signed up for Facebook. I don't feel the need to. So far as I gather, it's for getting in touch with people you haven't been in touch with for ages. I think that if those people wanted to be in touch with me, they'd find that I am perfectly easy to find as it is, and doesn't need to be any easier.
I'm not interested in making contact just for the sake of making contact.
That's all besides the point though. The people I know who frequent Facebook have been making it out to be a form of online crack. An addiction they're finding more and more drawn to.
With that in mind, I have little doubt that it's not much different than any other online site that takes up a lot of people's time, and brings down employee productivity in the process. With that in mind, hearing that the Canadian government's IT people have decided to block it from employee's use didn't surprise me at all.
What's interesting about this though is that Facebook chief privacy officer Chris Kelly chimed in on this to say the following:
"We're puzzled by why governments would ban access to Facebook," said Kelly, based at its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California, who was in Toronto on business unrelated to the ban.
"We're concerned about this because we think it's taking a tool away from users, a very powerful tool," he said, noting Facebook has made "preliminary contact" with Ontario officials to rectify the situation.
"We hope that the usefulness of the tool shines through."
I really hope that companies don't start feeling that they can strong-arm employers into allowing employees access to their sites. This isn't political. It's just good business policy. In my opinion, most of the Internet should be banned from use by employers, my own site included. The Internet is a huge productivity killer, and unless there's a specific reason you need to access a site from work, I hardly think people are in a position to challenge these sorts of policies. People might not like it, but you can't argue that it's good for business.
Of course, killing morale isn't necessarily a good business move either, so there's probably a fine line out there that I'm in no way ready to start defining.
Just suffice it to say that I think Mr. Kelly should mind his business and not try to push his nose into other businesses policies.
Ultimately, in a few months there will be another huge fad site sweeping the Internet, and that one should be banned to. Just because they don't want to be, doesn't mean they shouldn't be.