Facebook, Twitter face increasing scorn in the workplace

By Justin Mann on October 9, 2009, 7:20 PM
With over 300 million users, Facebook isn't lacking in popularity, but there is one domain where it isn't loved or appreciated: the workplace. The site's very nature makes it easy to access from virtually anywhere -- and that includes your workstation. That has earned services like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter a bad reputation as a time waster, with upwards of 54% of companies reportedly banning them already.

The cited reasons vary, but all revolve around lost productivity. Of those that don't prohibit use of social networking sites, a substantial portion allow limited use, such as for business reasons only or "limited personal use." Altogether, only 10% of a relatively large pool of CIO's said they allow unrestricted access to social networking sites. How long will that 10% last?

There are issues that go beyond the impact on productivity though, as social networking sites are being identified as security risks. Network administrators worry that a user could infect a machine through careless browsing. That is certainly not limited to social networking sites, but the concern arises given their sheer size, thus making them a target. What's worse is that users typically trust sites like Facebook and that means they are more likely to become victims of malicious acts while browsing them.

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