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20 chapter four Barriers to Using Social Media Introduction Social media are not a good way to reach minorities (63% of responding agencies/average = 1.6). This chapter identifies some common barriers to using social Social media expose our agency to computer viruses media and presents strategies for addressing them. Informa- (63% of responding agencies/average = 1.7). tion is drawn from the survey findings and supplemented, as Staff will waste time updating their personal pages necessary, with information from the literature review. (47% of responding agencies/average = 1.8). Seniors do not use social media (46% of responding Although use of social media offers many potential benefits, agencies/average = 1.7). government agencies have encountered numerous difficulties and pitfalls. Concerns about user privacy and cybersecurity The warnings of cybersecurity experts notwithstanding, have implications for all users of the social web. However, survey respondents were far more concerned about exposing other challenges, such as record-retention requirements and their agency to criticism than to computer viruses. responding to online comments, are mostly relevant to public- sector agencies. Social Media Policies Common Barriers to Using Social Media Although the practice is not universal, many public agencies have adopted social media policies to provide guidance for NASCIO reports that for state chief information officers, addressing these barriers and concerns. Research conducted concerns about social media include security, legal terms of by the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the service, privacy, records management, and acceptable use. State University of New York at Albany, and summarized Consistent with those findings, HCI identified security as part of the literature review, provides a roadmap for gov as the primary barrier for expanding social networking in ernment agencies that are considering developing a social government. For the transportation agencies participating media policy. The CTG research team, who reviewed about in the UTM survey, pitfalls include staffing requirements, two dozen policies and interviewed more than 30 officials, managing negative comments, and addressing user expec- identified 8 basic elements common to most policies (16): tations (24). Employee access--Agencies manage access in two For this synthesis, survey respondents were asked about ways, either by restricting the number or type of the importance of common barriers to implementing social employees who can access social media sites or by media activities at their agency (see Table 8). To better limiting the types of sites that employees can access. compare these responses, a weighted average was calculated Account management--Many agencies required the using a four-point scale where 1 = "not important at all" and chief information officer and/or the communications 4 = "very important." Consistent with the findings reported in officer to oversee social media accounts. UTM, the following factors appeared most influential to Acceptable use--Agencies are challenged by the soft- respondents for the synthesis survey; more than 20% of agen- ening line between personal, professional, and official cies flagged them as barriers, rating them "very important" agency use of social networking sites. when deciding whether or not to use social media: Employee conduct--Most agencies referred to existing policies for employee conduct, although a few addressed No staff available to manage social media activities some behaviors specific to social media, such as the (29% of responding agencies/average = 2.8) need for transparency. People will use social media to criticize my agency Content--Most agencies tried to maintain at least (22% of responding agencies/average = 2.7). minimal control over online content, either by assign- ing oversight responsibility to an individual manager or At the other end of the spectrum, the following factors retaining the right to review content. did not appear to present barriers to agencies and were most Security--Most policies referred to agency IT security commonly rated "not important at all" in the decision to use guidelines, although a few focused specifically on the social media: importance of password control.