German Companies Block Social Networks

The Story

To reduce security threats and address concerns about productivity, several German companies are blocking employees' access to social networks.

FB in Germany 

Discussion Starters

  • If you have worked in an office environment, how active were you on social networks like Facebook? Did this affect your productivity?
  • Will this action stop employees from participating in social networks?  Why or why not?
  • The move addresses concerns about viruses and employees revealing trade secrets online. How will blocking access to social networks address these concerns?  How will they fail to address these issues?
  • What are the downsides of blocking employees' access?  What are the benefits to companies of having employees contribute information about their brand on social networks?

Assignment Ideas

  • Employees can speak positively on behalf on their companies, which could promote a brand.  Contribute a positive comment about a company or brand on a social network. 
  • Review a Facebook fan page for your favorite brand or product.  Analyze the comments: are most comments positive or negative?  What can you conclude about this?
  • How does this policy of German companies compare with common policies of U.S. companies?  Review a few social media policies of U.S. companies and write a report to summarize your findings.