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Ask Slashdot: Companies That Force Employees To Join Social Networks?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the have-your-friends-list-on-my-desk-by-close-of-business dept.

Google 364

First time accepted submitter rubeon writes "Companies can get a lot of mileage out of social networking services from the likes of Google or Facebook. Chat, document collaboration, and video conferencing using services like Google+ Hangouts or Facebook's Skype are seductive additions to an IT arsenal. But a lot of people have privacy concerns about these services, and there's no shortage of horror stories how these sites track and exploit their users' habits. Would you work for a company that forced its employees to join a social network?"

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364 comments

Mod manipulation by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Maciel (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095767)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org], real name Rui Maciel, has been using anonymous posts [slashdot.org] to accuse almost 20 accounts of being employed by a PR firm to astroturf Slashdot, without any evidence. Using multiple puppet accounts, he mods up these anonymous posts while modding down the target accounts in order to censor their viewpoints off of Slashdot. GreatBunzinni accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as the anonymous troll who has been posting these accusations to every Slashdot story. For example, he wrote the same post almost verbatim, first using his logged-in account [slashdot.org] followed by an anonymous post [slashdot.org] days later. Note the use of the same script and wording.

It turns out GreatBunzinni is actually a 31-year-old C++/Java programmer from Almada, Portugal named Rui Maciel, with a civil engineering degree from Instituto Superior Técnico and a hobby working with electronics. He runs Kubuntu and is active on the KDE mailing list. Rui Maciel has accounts at OSNews, Launchpad, ProgrammersHeaven, the Ubuntu forums, and of course Slashdot.

Most of the users who Rui targets have done nothing more than commit the sin of praising a competitor to Google at some point in the past. Many of them are subscribers who often get the first post, since subscribers see stories earlier than non-subscribers. After one of Rui's accusations is posted as a reply, the original post receives a surge of "Troll" and "Overrated" moderations from his puppet accounts, while the accusatory post gets modded up. Often, additional anonymous posters suddenly pop up to give support, which also receive upmods. At the same time, accused users who defend themselves are modded down as "Offtopic."

Rui Maciel's contact information
Email: greatbunzinni@gmail.com [mailto], greatbunzinni@engineer.com [mailto], or rui.maciel@gmail.com [mailto]
IM: greatbunzinni@jabber.org [jabber] (the same Jabber account currently listed on his Slashdot account)
Blog: http://rui_maciel.users.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
Programming projects: http://www.programmersheaven.com/user/GreatBunzinni/contributions [programmersheaven.com]

Known puppet accounts used by Rui Maciel
Galestar [slashdot.org]
NicknameOne [slashdot.org]
Nicknamename [slashdot.org]
Nerdfest [slashdot.org]
Toonol [slashdot.org]
anonymov [slashdot.org]
chrb [slashdot.org]
flurp [slashdot.org]
forkfail [slashdot.org]
psiclops [slashdot.org]
rreyelts [slashdot.org]
russotto [slashdot.org]
zidium [slashdot.org]

tl;dr: An Ubuntu fan named Rui Maciel is actively trolling Slashdot with multiple moderator accounts to filter dissenting opinions off the site.

Re:Mod manipulation by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Maci (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095881)

You two are really obsessed with each other.. you should really get a room.

I know what you're thinking: that's stupid.. we're both guys, and I'm not gay.

You're confused about your sexuality, and you're feelings for each other. You're concerned about your repressed latent homosexuality.

But this 2012, and most people are ok with other peoples sexual orientation.

So please, will you two just hook up already? The rest of us are getting tired of this BS.

Why not, it's just another work tool (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095781)

Create a @ Work account, simple This also means you can easily avoid problems such as this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16338040 [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (5, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095863)

Yes, that. Sign up with a new account and compartmentalize your activities appropriately.

In other words, make your profile private and add only the co-workers that you have to. Discuss only work-related activities. If a co-worker mouths off about the party last night or tries to message you about stuff unrelated to work, don't respond to them online and walk to their cube with a "don't be a dumbass" warning.

Most importantly, if the above are not already rules in place, then ask that they be made rules. You can say it's for "security" reasons and they'll eat it right up.

However, I don't have to worry about any of that because I don't social network in private, I don't work for a company with such asinine policies, and I don't do any hanging out with coworkers after work(other than the occasional post-work happy hour with a 2-drink cutoff).

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095969)

Sign up with a new account and compartmentalize your activities appropriately.

Unless a network enforces one account per individual.

Business/Company account needs no personal info (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096139)

Sign up with a new account and compartmentalize your activities appropriately.

Unless a network enforces one account per individual.

With different emails, profiles, behaviors, etc how would they notice? Likes, interests, posts etc should be completely segregated between professional and personal. Maybe use different names as well, for example the formal Michael on the business account and the familiar Mike on the personal account. They can't really tell from IP. Maybe Michael is a father's account and Mike is a son's - again, avoid personal info like birthday's etc on the business account. A business account at a particular company has no need to contain birthdays, schools, etc.

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (4, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096145)

Which network does that and how do they enforce it?

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096215)

Facebook requires your real name.
There is also Eric Holder who wants it to be a felony to violate a web sites terms of service.

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096249)

no network would prevent multiple people with the same name from signing up.

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096257)

Funny, because I know multiple people with my exact same name. How does facebook handle this shit? How do they verify?

Facebook requires some text from you.
FTFY*

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (1)

moozey (2437812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096169)

Even if they did, it wouldn't be hard to get around. Make a one off email (or use your work email if you have one) and make an account with that. Plenty of people have the same name and I'm sure a networking site like Facebook with such a massive population wouldn't notice (if one account per individual is a rule).

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096093)

I made a google account for work and only use it from an alternate browser (chrome, fittingly enough), not my main one. But there's no way I'm joining facebook or letting them put pictures of me there. The face recognition thing is too fucking scary.

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096137)

Also, I try to use social networking really with three categories of activities in mind:

1) Self-promotion: This stuff always goes on the social networking media. That';s what the media is there for!

2) Public thoughts: This is sort of like a mini-blog service. Things can go there if audience-appropriate.

3) Private activities and thoughts: No way in hell am I putting those on a social networking site!

Re:Why not, it's just another work tool (4, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096151)

Good idea, but to nitpick many of these services are now insisting on your real name and details when you sign up. Yes, you can put fake details on, but try explaining it to the boss when your account is deleted for breaking the T&C. I use a fake Facebook account for work purposes, but I'm self employed so I can't get fired if it gets taken down, I just make another. If my employer insisted on me handing over my personal data to a third party I'd simply refuse outside of work bio, email and phone number. Facebook and the like collect a LOT more data than that, including people contacting me on non-work matters - you can tell them not to because it's your work account, but your employer (in the UK at least) isn't allowed to view incoming messages like that, let alone a third party (court orders aside).

Roll Your Own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095789)

If your company is going to require its employees to join a social network for collaboration purposes, grab the Diaspora source and host your own internally.

Re:Roll Your Own (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095835)

grab the Diaspora source and host your own internally.

Grab your coat, and exit the building.

There are tons of collaboration packages, and even Google Docs, without the need to join a social network.

Re:Roll Your Own (5, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095895)

There are tons of collaboration packages, and even Google Docs, without the need to join a social network.

... for now ...

Why any company would trust sensitive internal information to Google is beyond me.

Re:Roll Your Own (3, Funny)

daremonai (859175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096223)

Why any company would trust sensitive internal information to Google is beyond me.

Why not? They already have it, anyway - I just did a search and found it.

No joke - one place I worked, the best way to find out what was really going on was stick some key executives' names in Google and see what turned up. (No, no criminal records, amazingly enough.)

Is this really a problem? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095795)

Other than Facebook itself, and Google, has anyone actually been asked to join a Social Network by their employer?

(No, Gmail does not count).

I've heard of people being asked to follow twitter, but that's hardly a social network, and its far from bidirectional.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095871)

Why doesn't Twitter count as a social network? I realize the CEO has claimed it's not, but you create a profile and network socially with other users.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095957)

Agreed...this question.

The submission starts off with the vague "Companies can..." and then makes a couple of similarly tenuous suppositions-masquerading-as-fact. No linked article linked about how this is a growing trend, or even a blog post from someone rampaging that their employer has just instituted this.

Slow news day, I guess?

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096211)

My company doesn't have a policy like this, but my dad (who's a plumbing inspector) was asked to create a facebook account for work. Not for the company, for himself. I still can't figure out why they think this is important other than hoping to keep a better eye on their employees outside of work.

Without knowing him it's hard to express how ridiculous this was. A year later he still hasn't figured out how to set a profile picture. He just obviously doesn't care to and only even logs into the thing once a month or so.

I know it's just one random example, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is some larger, stupid trend.

Re:Is this really a problem? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095991)

Yes. Part of the interview process at my last job (internet marketing startup) was to check prospects' scores on online tools that measured "engagement" in blogging, Twitter, Facebook, foursquare, Google+, YouTube, etc. The company would also send out emails "requesting" that employees post/Tweet/Like events, books, blog posts, awards, or webinars related to the company, made by friends of/investors in the company, and so on. If you didn't have social media "juice," they weren't interested.

Even for tech support positions they weighed social media marketing knowledge alongside tech knowledge, because you had to defend (or upsell) the product on support calls. It's to the point now where they changed the job title of the phone support position to "Entry-level *ub*potter," presumably because they weren't getting people with marketing knowledge.

They'd ask us to mob people they wanted as guests on their weekly marketing show. I don't know what they expect when they do that; it struck me as annoying [twylah.com].

They're also extremely aggressive about responding to negative or skeptical posts and comments, to the point where they'll join MetaFilter [metafilter.com] to post a sales-pitch response [metafilter.com] to a question.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096043)

Yes. But since it's one based on a product that we sell (not a public facing one), I have no issue with it.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096113)

Depends what you define as a social network I suppose, and in general the question applies to any online service. Do you want to count skype as a social network?

And I suppose the same applies to any online service you need to sign up for as part of your employment. You use your employee information as the basis for it, and you make sure your employer clearly understands they are the ones liable since this is part of your work duties and anything that happens to you, your account, or anything done on the account is their responsibility, excluding the regular limits of what is expressly your responsibility.

Re:Is this really a problem? (5, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096191)

Other than Facebook itself, and Google, has anyone actually been asked to join a Social Network by their employer?

My employer - a university department - decided it needed to have a social networking presence. Since I'm the main web guy, that basically amounted to "we want you to join Facebook and Twitter".

We use it these tools to disseminate news about our department and to try to keep more frequent contact with our alumni. But that's as far as it goes - as far as I know, they couldn't care less about my personal activities on there (and my personal Facebook profile is actually separate from I use for work; but don't tell Facebook that! And I don't use Twitter personally). I've made it a point to not "friend" my boss nor most of the faculty who've asked. My (infrequent) personal posts are all set to "friends only"; and I do my bet not to say anything that could come back to bite me.

Of course it helps that I'm a really boring person.

"Facebook's Skype?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095801)

Since when does Facebook own Skype?

Re:"Facebook's Skype?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095861)

Wake up

Re:"Facebook's Skype?" (5, Informative)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095883)

I think you're the one who's asleep. Skype is owned by Microsoft.

Re:"Facebook's Skype?" (4, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096185)

Facebook uses skype for Video chatting. So you have your regular skype and Facebook's skype.

It's a paying job. (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095809)

If I were looking for work, I'd take the job, and just add the bare minimum of details to the site. Get a bit of political clout with the supervisors, then conveniently forget to log in for a week, or a month, or "oh dear, I forgot my password, and I don't know what email account I used to sign up".

Having been unemployed recently, I'd much prefer a paycheck to a bit of already-compromised privacy.

Re:It's a paying job. (4, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095851)

Obviously

You choose the amount of information you put there.

Unless you are as paranoid as RMS, just sign up using your company email (or a throwaway one) and put the absolutely minimum amount of info.

I'd much prefer a paycheck to a bit of already-compromised privacy.

This

Re:It's a paying job. (5, Interesting)

El_Oscuro (1022477) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095955)

I don't have any facebook. If an employer required me to get one, it would have company email and nothing personal at all. And time spent on it would be fully billable.

Re:It's a paying job. (2)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096041)

This. The only time I would check the company social network would be on company time. My personal social networking accounts would be accessed from my phone or not at all during work hours.

Re:It's a paying job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095879)

...or just keep it to the absolute bare-bones minimum - work stuff only. Conveniently not using the service(s) would undo any mileage gained early on. It seems the job role requires one to use these sites daily to "interact" with colleagues. Hmm, all over the globe they are? How far is the employer forcing the employee - have you got to put up a standard "pro" image of yourself, or will an old grainy one, or an "artified" one be Ok. Are such preconditions for employment enforceable in your country / state?

Can information leak in? (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095901)

I don't use social networks, so don't know a lot of their details. But one complaint that I commonly hear is that people can tag photos of you, and even if you don't have an account, Facebook will link this information together to create a hidden profile of you.

If your employer requires you to use your real name and information when signing up for an external social network, and your friends who use that same social network post pictures and other information about your personal life, is it possible that the network will associate this information with your work account, which will then bring it into your bosses radar?

If it is a private company network, then no problem. But if it is a public social network, it seems like it could create the same sort of problems that occur when bosses force you to friend them with your personal social network account.

Re:Can information leak in? (2)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096053)

I wouldn't friend them. I'd be like "Oh, I never got your request..."

Re:Can information leak in? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096079)

Or, you know... be honest, rather than snubbing your friends. "I don't like using Facebook, but I'm required to, so I only keep business contacts on there. I don't want my boss prying into my personal life."

Re:Can information leak in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096159)

No, even better, I don't have a Facebook account. There, it does happen. He can suggest you're lying, but can he prove it?

Re:Can information leak in? (4, Insightful)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096245)

I wouldn't friend them

I don't use any social networks, but I detected a serious problem when "friend" became a verb...

Re:Can information leak in? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096067)

You raise a very good point, but it should be fairly straightforward to work around it. Arrange with your employer to let you use a different middle name, for all professional social network purposes. Either use the alias or don't include a middle name or initial on business cards, email signatures, or the like. It fulfills their need to have a real person visible for the company, and it helps your need for privacy. It's a win-win, that most likely wasn't considered when the manager wrote the "must use real name" policy.

IBM Connections (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095821)

Just introduced here - no-one seems to be 'forcing' us rank-and-file to use it though. I imagine it will disappear in a year or two, as soon as the people who's bright idea it was to introduce it get another bright idea...

easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095823)

Sure Ill join. Let me create an account real quick tied to my work email.

Why not? (5, Insightful)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095825)

Why would I have any problem working for a company that forced me to join a social network? I wouldn't join with the same profile that I used personally. I would keep my business activities with the site strictly segregated from my personal persona (if any). But if the cost of losing your privacy as an employee to a google or a Facebook accrues almost entirely to your employer, not to you.

It's the same as email (1)

Len (89493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095919)

I wouldn't join with the same profile that I used personally.

Exactly. My work email address is different from my personal one, and likewise for social networks. The profile set up by my employer is used for work purposes only - it's got nothing to do with my personal life.

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095937)

Why would I have any problem working for a company that forced me to join a social network?

You might not, but some people have privacy hang-ups about them.

Especially since this sounds like a prospective employer, I'd tell the submitter to get a grip. Don't go work for a company that has fundamentally different morals or ethics than you do - that's going to end in disaster.

I wouldn't join with the same profile that I used personally.

The seems to be a current trend, but employers are going to have to get a grip too, Their employees use drugs, have sex, and shoot guns on the weekend (ideally not all at the same time). To pretend otherwise is fantasy and the stock of employees who will pretend that way is going to dry up over time.

Associate with people who like you for who you are and not who you pretend to be and your life will become more pleasant.

Re:Why not? (2)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096197)

True. And also true that I don't do or say anything much that would be substantially offensive. But keeping my private life apart from my work life is something that I do value. And even if I didn't value it, the problem isn't nearly so much the employer as the employer's customers. I've quite deliberately not friended even my friends at work, because that's a social network that could easily expand to a lot of people in front of whom I have an obligation to behave with a modicum of professionalism.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095985)

More to the point, why isn't there an enterprise version of G+/FB that a company can keep isolated on their own network?

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096155)

More to the point, why isn't there an enterprise version of G+/FB that a company can keep isolated on their own network?

Why does a company need social networking in the first place for employees?

I can understand trying to follow the crowd and have a "Web 2.0" presence with all the bells and whistles like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, whatever. That's marketing and their never ending quest for the Douche Master Throne. I dislike advertising obviously.

What benefits are there to having the employees participate in a social network? What work activities are appropriate to be public? Is this just another new SEO trick? Are there organizational benefits?

I just don't get it. If you need communication tools, that is not social networking specific. Social networking can have them, but then again, so do many other platforms. Skype can be used to communicate. I have that for business since it makes it easier to communicate with people and is far more flexible then txt messaging (which I refuse to use). You can go for the most expensive communication and collaboration platforms out there like MS Sharepoint that comes to mind. I'm sure IBM probably has something as ridiculously expensive and proprietary too. Google can be used for the same thing.

The question posed does not make sense, either by you or the article submitter, because I fail to see any business value in social networking beyond marketing.

They Can Make You Join... (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095831)

Maybe they can make it a condition of your job to join, but can they really make you use it? Just telling them that you don't post much because you're not that kind of guy or gal would be a hard argument for them to refute.

Re:They Can Make You Join... (1)

Bradmont (513167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095845)

Seriously. And just install ghostery to avoid the tracking cookies. Or use a separate browser for company mandated social networking.

Re:They Can Make You Join... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095891)

Why would any company require this? There are already companies trying to get workers to stop using Facebook all day long.

Re:They Can Make You Join... (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096069)

PR department? Marketing? I can think of a number of companies that would WANT their workers to be social network celebrities.

That, or it's a delusional way to promote worker camaraderie and invade employee's privacy.

Re:They Can Make You Join... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096125)

You can want someone to be a celebrity but there's no way to make that happen anymore than requiring your employers to win the lottery.

Re:They Can Make You Join... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095893)

I've had managers who would indeed insist on a given number of posts daily, regardless of the quality, all in the name of "productivity."

Re:They Can Make You Join... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095925)

I'm dealing with this bullshit in broadcasting. I gave up Facebook et.al. due to massive privacy concerns and discussions as to who really owned my data. I've been told time and again "just get over it." So, I've made it a policy not to help those people when their technology breaks.

lol Captcha = "cancels"

This is really a problem? (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095837)

There are so many things an employee can screw up online, I though most of the corporate and government employers would prefer you not be on a social network.

As for the question - who cares? Business accounts are business accounts. You can blog and facebook and plus all you want for the company with a company account. Just to let your business and personal life (accounts) mix. What's so hard about that?

Re:This is really a problem? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096029)

It can be.
From the perspective of the employee, it can lead to indirectly being forced to work off the clock, and in some cases (if you used your real name for a previous account and your employer wants you to use your real name too for example) can lead to privacy problems and unwanted blurring of work and private life.
From the perspective of the employer, it can lead to loss of control, knowledge fragmentation and data loss or theft. There are companies selling private (internal) social networks to employers, but I've had hands-on experience (also as an admin) with two of them and I can confidently say that most companies are much better off with traditional e-mail and some network shares.

Sure I would (1)

enjar (249223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095839)

You just create a "work account". The same way I have a company email account, phone extension, business card. I've carried a pager or been "on call" for certain work-related things in the past.

There are likely other better things to make a big deal out of.

Re:Sure I would (3, Interesting)

perlchild (582235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095905)

Yeah, except depending on facebook's "loose" vs "strict" interpretations of their own terms of service, you're violating their EULA by creating that second account.

Of course it's bullshit, just like it was bullshit for google+ to be tied to a real id, and that a social network was an identity service.
It got dropped from the media whcih means:
1) The law still isn't clear on it, and won't be for years
2) They never recanted it, so whenever a story gets loud enough to make the front line news, they can use it to either create a smokescreen or attack our privacy even further with it
3) Any pointy-haired politician that wants to win points with actors/actresses wanting to shut down an unofficial page that's more popular than the official one will be vulnerable to the right kind of pressure.

When it drops off the front page, without a formal, written apology, geeks lose.

Its no different from company requiring you to (2)

Technomancer (51963) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095841)

sign up for any other online service like video conferencing etc.
Create account Company_X_employee_2843753875 and use it for work purposes ONLY. Nobody is forcing you to use it at home, do they?
When you leave the company you give them the account and password so there is no BS like this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16338040

Tell them it's against your faith ... (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095859)

... even if it means your "lack of faith" in those particular "social networks."

After all, why can't all us "infidels" and "philistines" demand equal respect for our beliefs? Just because ours are based on the real world (and provable) doesn't mean that they are less deserving of respect than other people's fantasies.

Or join- and to make it interesting, make the first one a suggestion about how the company really needs a better sexual harrassment policy.

And make your second post about how you wonder how the company makes a profit when certain managers are taking 4-hour lunches.

And make your third post ... IF they let the experiment go that far ... about the obvious drug problems.

Re:Tell them it's against your faith ... (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096107)

And the fourth post will be from management as to their regret in your choice to "seek opportunities elsewhere".

Being a lying idiot is very obvious and gets you nowhere.

Re:Tell them it's against your faith ... (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096133)

A competent community manager would delete the post and start with some gentle corrective action - maybe a polite note asking you to cut it out. Only after it becomes completely clear that you have no intention of cooperating will it be escalated to your manager. A competent manager would probably be able to figure out the appropriate carrot and stick that would make you toe the line.

Of course, that's assuming a competently run company, and a competent community manager.

I saw one hilarious example of this a while ago (though it was not intentional, just someone posting something silly where it could be viewed by the wrong people). It was removed and the poster was asked very nicely to not do that again. All was well.

I dont understand the problem (1)

pyrocam (1219228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095869)

I dont think that joining a social network means you are required to post personal information or opinions, I have joined alot of the current and past social networks but it doesnt mean I post private stuff to any of them

Separation is the Key (2)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095873)

Seems obvious that your employer can require that - why not?

Just make sure that you maintain a really clear separation between work data that put into this account and your private life and accounts.

I'd opt for no linkages whatsoever between the two.

I'd also ask specifically what happens to that account and the associated data if you leave the company. You'll want it to be nukeable when you go.

That question actually is rather leading. (4, Interesting)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095885)

Disclaimer: I work for Jive Software, one of the leading vendors (if not the leading vendor) of Social Business Software, so take it for what you will. I'm just a hosting engineer though - not a marketer.

That said, I think this question actually entails two separate issues. The first one is, will having their employees collaborate socially save them time, money, and energy? I've seen many, many examples of companies coming to depend on social software - there are plenty of examples on Jive's site (and it's not just blowing smoke, I've seen firsthand evidence of this and have even talked to some people on the sales floor who swear by it). Some customers I work with have grown so dependent on social software that they cannot tolerate even a minute of downtime. Social business is, in many ways, the wave of the future, and to criticize companies for trying to get on the bandwagon and realize the benefits for themselves is not something I'm prepared to do.

The other question is: Should the company provide a sandboxed environment for this kind of collaboration, or should they force their employees to use solutions that potentially violate their privacy or have other issues? I'm not going to say that any of the solutions out there such as Facebook have those issues necessarily, but they are obviously very much less sandboxed and do not have the interests of corporate and personal privacy in mind near as much as a vendor whose software can be sandboxed to provide some safety for personal information and company secrets.

At Jive we eat our own dogwood, and we use a social instance of our own software in the company, and I can't imagine working without it. But if a company were to force me to collaborate on publicly available sites where my grandmother (for example) would also post, I'd seriously wonder what they were smoking.

Re:That question actually is rather leading. (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096201)

Some customers I work with have grown so dependent on social software that they cannot tolerate even a minute of downtime. Social business is, in many ways, the wave of the future, and to criticize companies for trying to get on the bandwagon and realize the benefits for themselves is not something I'm prepared to do.

I think that corporate dependence on "social software" is kind of like dependence on crack: it's hard to go a minute without it but that's not because it's providing real benefits.

Yes, in some cases social tools are useful, but in most implementations I've heard about the users become dependent on it because it's their only option, not because it was the best option.

Another analogy: if the New York Fire Department switched from fire engines to wagons pulled by donkeys because other cities were doing it and donkey stock was through the roof, they'd use the donkeys all the time and dread donkey downtime, but that wouldn't indicate that donkeys were a better choice than engines.

Re:That question actually is rather leading. (4, Insightful)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096221)

I'm not sure I understand your point. If they're dependent on it to the point where work stops getting done of the social network is down, and when significant and concrete cost savings can be proven (again, look at the use cases, I'm not going to repeat them here - I'll repeat that I'm not a marketer) it would become very difficult to make the case that the network being used is not at the very least *adequate* for the needs of the company whom is using it.

Some social networks and social software are better than others (I obviously have my opinions but I don't think I need to spell them out here as to which are which) but when a company is seeing tangible and measurable benefits trying to convince them that their solution is the wrong one is going to be an uphill battle.

Internal Social Networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095897)

We have an internal Facebook clone called 'Yammer' which all users are required to join, however it is in no way public and you require an email address within our domain to register or see the content of the network.

Re:Internal Social Networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095983)

We have a yammered instance too but so far we aren't required to join it. I do get invites once in awhile but I just ignore them. If they want my input (and they do want it as I am a senior SME) they can email me or try to send me an IM.

Come on, companies don't hire criminals (5, Interesting)

Tibixe (1138927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095899)

I'm fairly young and I already start getting reactions along the line of "Are you a criminal or what?" when I tell people I don't have a facebook profile. Also, I'm pretty sure the police would be watching people without public social network presence for they are hiding something for sure. Fortunately for me, they're probably too lazy to get up from facebook.

Horror stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095909)

I'm asking an honest question here... can anyone elaborate on how a social networking site (not the users of such sites) have "exploited their users' habits"?
 
The blurb is making it sound like Anne Frank was discovered because she posted on Facebook. I'm just looking for justification of how bad the submitter makes this out to be. For me the closest I've ever felt to "exploited" on any of these sites is a random ad for something I'm a fan of/group member of.
 
Oh noes! Teh evil Facebook is raping me because I shared my interest in Pink Floyd with them! Someone call the police!

Re:Horror stories? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096209)

I'm asking an honest question here... can anyone elaborate on how a social networking site (not the users of such sites) have "exploited their users' habits"?

The blurb is making it sound like Anne Frank was discovered because she posted on Facebook. I'm just looking for justification of how bad the submitter makes this out to be. For me the closest I've ever felt to "exploited" on any of these sites is a random ad for something I'm a fan of/group member of.

Oh noes! Teh evil Facebook is raping me because I shared my interest in Pink Floyd with them! Someone call the police!

Remember way back to earlier this week, when a Saudi expat tweeted something and is now going to be executed for it?

On the other hand, people on Facebook are encouraged to play Farmville, which is another type of punishment.

Re:Horror stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096233)

Read the question again please. It was asked how *the social networking site* exploited their users. Unless Saudi Arabia owns Twitter, you have no case against Twitter for this.

This may hit some job discrimination isseus (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095915)

Like in areas of what groups you are part of and other areas that a job can not ask you about.

Now maybe linked in is ok as long as it stays professional and they don't want you to post / talk about lot's of non work stuff that falls under ares covered by discrimination laws.

Companies can't force you to do anything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095945)

If you don't like the work you are asked to do, then don't accept the job or leave if you already started.

Re:Companies can't force you to do anything. (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096009)

Exactly what I said, here http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2680545&cid=39095997 [slashdot.org] But, with the included caveat that you may be able to keep the job as the policy may violate labor laws (or privacy laws, now that I think of it) in your state. This is a non-issue as unless OP lives in a country with no labor or privacy laws, and a totalitarian regime that tells you where to work, you don't have to work for them, or you can fight back legally and keep the job.

Only if I could make everything up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095947)

I'd only work in such a place if I could make up all the details, including the name.

Doubtful. But that policy is garbage. What are they thinking?

Re:Only if I could make everything up. (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096013)

You should get a job as a Community Manager. They indeed can make up all the details. Including the name

I keep my work off the web. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39095949)

Internal corporate networks should be quarantined away from the public web, virus risks and IE6 are enough. If anyone wants to "dial-out" they should be put in on special fire walled terminal with all updates with manager's permission for work purposes only such as orders and e-mails. Any "company" that "requires" social networks deserve to go out of business.

Being forced to join wouldn't bother me (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095971)

One could just use the account for promoting the company or whatever they want you to use it for while leaving any personal stuff out of it. What would really worry me is not being hired because when they try to do some facebook based background check on me they come up with nothing and figure I must have "something to hide" because "everyone is on there" and only antisocial oddballs are not on facebook

What?!?! (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39095997)

Despite what Fox News might say, we're not a fascist, socialist country here in the United States and you still have the right to tell your employer to go fuck themselves and get another job. There's no monarch/dictator/cabal/regime telling you where you can and cannot work. An employer in the United States CANNOT force you to do anything that you don't want to do, because you can leave the company and get another job. The whole issue is ridiculous. Even if you did not want to quit, the state in which you live may have labor laws to protect you from such abuse of personal privacy making it impossible for them to enforce such an offensive policy. So, no, a company cannot force you to do anything you don't want to, and you can possibly defend yourself and keep that job if you want.

Re:What?!?! (5, Insightful)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096003)

While you are technically correct, you are ignoring economic realities and pressures. Sometimes just because you *can* quit doesn't mean that you will be able to find another job. There are places in the country where if you lose your job, you will have to move.

Re:What?!?! (2)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096087)

I don't know why you're picking on FNC here, but socialism doesn't stop people from leaving their jobs. It discourages hiring and even prohibits firing, and there are plenty of regulations telling people where they can and cannot work.

Long Weekend = Idle Mind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096071)

I don't know about you guys, but I have no problem keeping my mind busy on long weekends, stuff like this enver crosses my mind!

Consider it personal advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096083)

Sounds great to me. You can post all your professional stuff on the work account. Make yourself look competent and au fait with all the latest buzzwords, make it in to an advertisement for someone to come hire you at higher salary. Make sure your "bio" is prominent and slap your resume in there.

My response to the manager or HR person.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096163)

no problem, as soon as I get a pay scale raise for it. And a significant one.

otherwise, nope. and if you try to fire me, my lawyer will gladly take the case as it will be highly profitable for him. He likes high profile cases where he can get his buddy at the NBC station to cover it on the news, I usually give him 80% of the judgement so he likes to shoot for the moon on damages and litigation.

Oh you also have one more option. I'll leave now silently for $4.5 million plus taxes on it as a golden parachute, I'll promise to keep my mouth shut.

That covers the bases well. They either drop it, give the raise, or gladly pay off a troublemaker to make him go away before he tells others how he stood up for himself.

Most of the time they drop it because it was some retard MBA in his 20's that though it up.

Honestly, people need to spread the word on these craptastic companies doing this stuff so the rest of us know to avoid them.

but then I'm one of those shitty employees that also shuts off his phone the second he leaves the building and refuses to turn it back on again until the next work day or demand on call pay. I also leave at the end of the work shift time and refuse to work overtime unless asked to do so, that way I have documentation so the scumbags cant try and stiff me.

you know, someone with a backbone. it works well. I last years at every job until I get bored and then I place a call to a headhunter or two telling them I am on the market again and have offers of more pay and better positions within weeks.

If more people stood up for themselves and understood that THEY are doing the company a favor by bringing their Expert skills to work every day, there would be fewer scumbag companies out there.

Even FetLife.Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096203)

It would be kind of creepy if my boss wanted me to join FetLife. Then again, it might be a really cool place to work. /Hey, the captcha was 'Lawsuit'.

Has Come Up TWICE So Far (1)

ossuary (1532467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39096261)

This has come up twice so far. Both times have been to require all full time employees (49% or less are exempt, as well as intermittent are exempt) to create a Facebook and Twitter account using their real names (if they do not already have one), provide real company contact information, and follow/join corporate groups. We have been very lucky that it has been shot down each time it has been brought up. I fear that it is only a matter of time before a VP decides to push the issue himself and then will be pushed through. Half the group didn't blink an eye about it, the other half are deeply entrenched against it. I fall on the side of completely against forcing an employee to join a public social network with their real identity.

Yes and no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39096265)

No, I work as a contractor, so the people I work for... get this concept.... pay me to do defined work for them. In a general sense, the employers I've worked for (not as a contractor) in the past, the kind of employers I've worked for are the kind of employers that would a) Probably not even consider something like requiring people to do much of anything that's not strictly work-related. b) if they did come up with an idea like this, it'd be a suggestion and not a strict requirement.

          Yes, if I did end up for working for someone who insisted, I'd first tell them about the privacy implications of this decision, as well as informing them that sites such as Facebook have been known for "unchecking" privacy checkboxes, so it shouldn't be used for anything you wouldn't mind getting out to the public. Then if they still insist I'd load that account up with.. well, address would be the address of the company. Phone number would be work phone only, and if I don't have one it'd be the front office number. Work E-Mail address. And so on. And then, most likely, I'd never use it again. If it transpired that people within the office -- let's face it, this wouldn't happen outside an office environment -- if it transpired that people within the office DID start using it, I suppose I'd use it. Just like E-Mail, or phone, or text messaging, I would not be roped into being *expected* to check it outside of work, but at work? Sure.

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