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FCW Insider: The problem with feds on Facebook

In recent weeks, I've had several conversations with co-workers and federal employees who are getting a little nervous about using Facebook.

Here is the problem: While they initially joined as a way to stay in touch with friends, they now have numerous professional colleagues in their network as well. That line between personal and professional has all but disappeared -- and that just doesn't feel right.

I've been told (although I haven't checked it out for myself) that Facebook has privacy features that make it possible to publish some status updates to your whole network, with others limited to a smaller circle of friends. But frankly that sounds like a lot of work.

On the other hand, it might be worth it. One fed I talked too -- someone who is quite savvy about this stuff -- said he rarely updates his status because he feels uncomfortable saying just about anything in such a public sphere. His concern is simple: How will people know if he is speaking as a private citizen or as a government official?

Many people, not just feds, are concerned about the boss. If your supervisor finds you on Facebook and sends a request to friend you, how can you refuse? But then again, do you really want your boss viewing your status updates? Yikes.

Facebook is a wonderful networking tool, but get ready to step out of your comfort zone.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Mar 31, 2009 at 12:14 PM


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