Public sector still blocking social networking sites

Social networking

The public sector needs to embrace social networking as no-one "can afford to ignore the potential," according to a report released today.

The Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) has claimed in its latest report Social media: why ICT management should lead their organisations to embrace it that most ICT managers in the public sector restrict or even block social networks and by doing this are taking the wrong attitude to something that could improve the organisation.

"Trying to block social media is an approach doomed to failure, simply because it is impossible to stop people using it," said the report.

The report showed 90 per cent of public sector bodies restricted social networking in some way, while almost 67 per cent cut employees off from it completely.

Security was the main reason for blocking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, but employers' were also concerned about straining their networks.

"ICT managers should instead consider how social media may help address the looming budget issues by engaging citizens, delivering services, and empowering employees in new ways of working," continued the report. "No organisation can afford to ignore the potential."

"Social media will not go away," the report added. "Failure to engage with the trend is tantamount to decrying the telephone at the end of the 19th century."

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Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.