Toronto Employees Lose Face(book)

The City of Toronto announced this week it will ban Facebook on employee computers (with the exception of city councillors). An interesting move considering Facebook is currently the fastest-growing form of social media around the globe.

Says city spokesman Brad Ross: "Not to say more and more people at the city were starting to spend a lot of time on Facebook, but to mitigate against the possibility we just simply denied access" (Toronto Star, May 10, 2007).

So let me get this straight. Even though no one was abusing this new form of media, the city has now banned it just in case? Seems a bit paranoid to me.

Not to mention the fact that Facebook offers great team-building and networking opportunities for employees of any organization. It's user-friendly, highly visual and provides limitless opportunities for employees to connect, whether they're divided by oceans or an office corridor.

And let's not forget the potential for PR applications. One of my PR grads recently got a job at Cake Beauty in Toronto where they've started up a Cake Beauty Lovers group on Facebook -- what a fantastic way to reach youth audience members (who are using Facebook like mad, by the way!).

My final viewpoint: the City of Toronto's move to ban Facebook on employee computers is short-sighted to say the least, and it won't be long before they realize it too.