The escalating ban-Facebook hype

Updated on September 12, 2007

Yet another survey is out saying that Facebook damages business, this time to the tune of £130 million a day.

That’s equivalent to about £3.8 billion a month. Or over £45 billion a year.

Such extrapolated numbers are even less credible than the Aussie report recently which said Facebook costs Australian businesses A$5 billion (about £2 billion) in lost productivity.

Here’s the angle in the latest survey:

[…] Mike Huss, director of employment law at Peninsula called on all firms to block access to sites such as Facebook. He asked: “Why should employers allow their workers to waste two hours a day on Facebook when they are being paid to do a job?” He said that loss of productivity was proving a “major headache” for firms. “The figures that we have calculated are minimums and it’s a problem that I foresee will escalate,” he said.

Good grief.

As you might expect, there is a lot of opinion out there about such sensational claims.

At the opposite end of the bash-Facebook spectrum, Ethan Kaplan has this:

[…] if Facebook cost your business “dear,” then you shouldn’t really be in business. If you can’t figure out how to leverage any social network for your own business, and the tendencies of your employees to enjoy them, then time to rethink your strategies.

Hmm, while I like a lot what Ethan says, the reality for most organizations will be somewhere in between the two extremes.

As I’ve said before, guide don’t ban.

Related posts:

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Adam Denison

    Two hours a day on Facebook? I spend that much on Facebook now, but it’s primarily business related. Before I started working in social media communications at GM I spent maybe 15 minutes a day on Facebook. I’d get on, check what my friends were up to, look at a few pictures and then I was off.

    That said, however, how much longer do you think Facebook will be viable and not become inundated with spam and advertising like MySpace? Do you think Facebook going public will help or hurt it?

  2. Con von Hoffman

    This is a stupid story that has only gained traction because the press has by-and-large been too lazy to actually do any reporting on these incredibly suspect “studies” all of which have been done by companies with a vested interest in their outcome.

    Do we really think that more time is now wasted via computer than was wasted prior to the advent of Facebook and the like? When workers were first getting connected to the internet at work wasn’t there much handwringing over how much less work they would get done because of it?

    Sorry for the plug but for a more indepth criticism of the press’s role in this non-story please see my blog post:
    http://collateraldamage.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/facebook-continues-to-destroy-the-economy/

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