Hug a blogger

The recent pulling of a British diplomat's blog on Thailand - following allegations that he was spotted frequenting some of Bangkok's less salubrious areas - has resulted in a hastily announced review of the Foreign Office's policy on diplomatic blogging.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The FO is not the only organisation wrestling with the blogger dilemma, according to Human Resources consultant Croner. New research reveals that up to a third of corporate bloggers could potentially face the bullet for gross misconduct. Hordes of disaffected workers making vitriolic attacks on their employers and co-workers have, warned Croner, been lulled into a false sense of security by the informality of the web, and do not realise the potential ramifications of such open attacks.

Heavy-handed employer reactions to this kind of thing include denying staff access to the web - 25% of those surveyed were apparently cut off completely, with many more being able to visit only selected sites on their desk. Fifteen per cent reacted to such censorship by hiding in the toilet to use mobile internet devices. The human spirit - and the attractions of YouTube and facebook - will not be gainsaid.

Here at MT, we think that if employers - and employees - are ever going to deal effectively with this situation, they need to engage in a deep-rooted analysis of the causes rather than giving a kneejerk reaction to the symptoms. Aside from the fact that bans, censorship and similar draconian measures simply don't work, they send the wrong message to staff and the community at large - leading, in all probability, to even more bad-mouthing of the company by disaffected workers on internet suck sites. Which is where we came in…

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