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24 account may be subject to public disclosure laws, even if pro- viruses, data loss, privacy violations, and damage to repu- duced on personal time and equipment (21). tation (4,16,22). These concerns are discussed later in this chapter. Some agencies responding to the synthesis survey cited advantages to allowing employee access to social media on the job and offered the following comments: Handling Online Criticism Provided morale boost for staff to interact outside office. Social media platforms allow transit agencies to present their Blog and Twitter work is shared as part of regular internal message to stakeholders, independent of the news cycle and communications with about 30% of our organization. unaltered by editorial opinions. However, although agencies This wasn't our target audience but we have found that can control the message they share with their audience, they we are engaging many employees through Facebook cannot expect to manage what people say about them. Fear page; they are adding to our conversation as well as of online criticism was one of the major barriers to using seeking answers to questions. social media, according to the survey respondents. As Table 8 shows, 60% of responding agencies considered this issue Others took steps to discourage or restrict access to personal "important" or "very important." and official social media sites, describing their approaches as follows: To address this concern, one industry expert offered the following advice. Although aimed at private-sector marketers, Employee access to social media is pretty restricted, with it applies to public agencies as well: only a handful of employees having access to Facebook. All employees have access to [the agency's] social If you choose to go down the path toward social media engage- ment, you have to be prepared for loss of control. If you can accept media space; however only a couple of [agency] web that the conversations people will have about your brand will and communications staff has modifying powers. mix the negative in with the positive, you're in a good position Employees are encouraged to limit their personal use of to benefit from the data you'll get about your brand and product social media and restrict activities to [agency]-oriented offerings. Think of it as unaided, unfiltered consumer research (23). content. Agencies also face the potential for negative feedback These limits on staff social media activity were consistent from disgruntled current or former employees. In Portland, with the CTG's findings. According to CTG, public agen- Oregon, TriMet allows employees to maintain personal blogs cies manage employee access to social media in two ways: so long as they make it clear that they are not speaking on (1) controlling the number or types of employees who may behalf of the agency. Nevertheless, agency officials were use social networking sites or (2) restricting employee access forced to take disciplinary action against one bus driver after to certain types of websites. HCI's survey of 607 government his blog post appeared to threaten a bicycle rider. "This is a agencies had similar findings. HCI identified three common free speech right that we support," a TriMet spokeswoman approaches for handling employee access to social media: told a local reporter in reference to blogging bus drivers. (1) block all social networking tools, (2) limit access to a few "But you can't cross the line" (24). selected social networking tools or for a few functions, and (3) limit access to selected individuals (2, 16). Sources agreed that there was a clear distinction between online behavior that was illegal or offensive and behavior The synthesis survey asked whether respondents were that was negative or critical. The CTG found that 11 of concerned that employees would waste time updating their 26 government social media policies reviewed addressed personal social media accounts while on the job. On average, the issue of citizen conduct, including offensive language, respondents to the synthesis survey did not flag workplace illegal activities, or other inappropriate actions. Generally, access to social media as a major barrier to implementation. public agencies reserved the right to delete or edit offensive As Table 8 shows, only 10% considered this issue "very content, including obscenities and profanity (16). For example, important," and transit agencies reported different approaches St. Louis Metro Transit posts this disclaimer as part of its to managing staff use of social media. However, although blog comment policy: "Editors reserve the right to modify some agencies see advantages in allowing their employees or delete any comments that don't conform to our guidelines to access the type of information available through social below or that we deem otherwise inappropriate, and we will networking, others are more concerned about the perceived ban commenters who cannot follow the rules (with or without security risks. NASCIO reports that employee misuse of warning)" (25). social media was one of the top five concerns regarding social media in government. ISACA (formerly known as the When the comments are negative, but not in violation Information Systems Audit and Control Association) shared of policy, several government organizations and nonprofits this concern, saying that employee use of social media on the provide advice to their employees on how to respond in an job or at home could expose an organization to malware and appropriate manner. Depending on the situation, suggested