Enterprises Social Media Ban: Sony Hacking Blamed?

One of the subjects that we often bring you news on is of course the world of social media and how it can benefit a great number of people. Whether its the individual or a business be it small or large, social media, what and how its used is being tried and tested. When we talk about this topic, we often refer to the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and how just these very sites alone can boost somebody’s profile, a product or even the name of an enterprise. But as well as the positives, can social media have its negatives?

At times, particularly in the field of work, its been batted about whether social media can provide plenty of benefits and also whether employees should be allowed to use such sites. As Wall Street Journal pointed out, although many executives of companies are accepting the fact that yes social media is a growing trend, its the complications that it could potentially bring to an organisation.

Figures from Clearswift in a recent report named The Work Life Web 2011 state that companies are taking a stricter approach to social media use and in fact in some cases are banning its use, a shown figure of 9% was seen in 2010 with a massive leap of companies clamping down on employee use up to 19%.

One of the main contributory factors to this has resulted from technology company Sony and its PSN service being hacked. In a statement from Clearswift they commented by saying, “We think the proliferation of data loss, such as the Sony incident, has had a lot to do with this. Although they have nothing to do with social media, it is being tarnished by association. We have seen, particularly in places like Germany, a number of very public announcements who were worried about espionage and therefore blocked the use of social media. This fear was very widespread. Some 87% of companies we interviewed were worried about data loss, and it was preventing their adoption of technologies.”

What interested us is the sheer volume of employees that are or could be checked for their internet use. The level of trust for some employers has all but gone with the country of Japan most fearing this very subject. The situation between employees and their managers has suddenly become a strained relationship at times with 48% of managers in the workplace allowing social media to be used whilst just 25% of employees agreeing on this. Over half of young workers look at social media use as an “entitlement.”

Although the research was carried out on a handful of countries such as America, Britain, Germany, Japan and so on, interestingly it was the Netherlands with six out of ten companies agreeing that social media had its benefits to their companies future.

Tell us what you think about the use of social media in the workplace? Should companies encourage or ban its activity and is it justified to worry about its implications?