October 23, 2009

Italian government declares “war” on social networking

Posted in Best practices, Productivity, Social Media Tools tagged , , at 10:00 am by bizlawblog

The last post referenced the fundamental shift signaled by Web 2.0 Summit announcements from Microsoft and Google that they will start searching and indexing social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. When this is combined with reports, such as the Neilson report, indicating just how rapidly social media channels are being adopted by individuals and businesses, we have a collision of major proportions. Some would say it is a paradigm shift.

A just released March 2009 Nielsen Company reportGlobal Faces and Networked Places, makes some startling observations about the rapid adoption of social networking such as blogs, social media sites (Facebook), Twitter and wikis among Internet users. While many may intuitively suspect that the adoption rate of these forms of social networking is accelerating, this report removes all doubt. It highlights that two-thirds of the world’s Internet population now utilize social media sites, traffic to these sites is growing at 3x the rate of other Internet traffic and people now spend 10% of all Internet time on social networking sites.

But social networking is no panacea. The Italian government recently declared “war” on these different forms of social networking in an attempt to curb employee sick days and increase productivity. Closer to home in the US, these different forms of social networking are creating new headaches from a corporate and legal view point for organizations already struggling to comply with current legal eDiscovery requests.

Social Networking Sites Create New eDiscovery Headaches; Raise the Bar for eDiscovery Management and Response

Up to this point, reports of the impact of social media and social networking trends were scattered. It appears this is about to change, and that is a major factor in starting this blog.

Employers are certainly starting to feel the impact at what many would consider an alarming rate.

An increasing headache for businesses living in the closed-shop IT world is the amount of potential there is for social networkingemployees to leak sensitive data to a third-party or publicise potentially damaging information about people that otherwise wouldn’t have traveled beyond the water cooler.

Social networking in business: plan less for less pain

Some of the goals of this blog are to monitor legal implications of social networking, providing references to tools and best practices. I have a started a “Best Practices” page on this blog, and will periodically load a file with a list of articles on this topic. The key, however, is input from you, so please help “the cause” by providing useful comments and references.

That’s what I think. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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