Fairfax County Puts Kabosh on Blogging

Yesterday Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin emailed county employees to remind them of the county’s computer security policies. He led off the email with a discussion of blogging:

There are new communication venues available on the Internet, including blogs (Web logging) which serve as online diaries where one shares opinions and thoughts. Blogs, which are unregulated sites hosted by individuals, media outlets and others, can serve as platforms to share knowledge, foster dialogue and open up two-way channels of communication. Personal blogging is not allowed to be conducted from the county’s technology environment: network, Internet connection or computers. Likewise, personal IT resources (computers, network and/or wireless devices) are not allowed to be connected to the county’s IT resources to facilitate personal uses such as blogging.

Blogging apparently is a special case of personal use of county computers, because “incidental and occasional personal use of the county’s Internet access or electronic communication is permitted,” with a few caveats.

Certainly the county has the right to establish such a policy and to differentiate between various “personal” uses of county computers, blackberries, and the like. Of course, I’ve never heard of anyone being reprimanded for using their personal computer to do county business and I guess Mr. Griffin, emailing on a Sunday from home, presumably using a county computer, takes great pains to move from county computer to personal computer depending on what he is doing. We sure wouldn’t want some county employee blogging on a public issue; it’s much better just to shop online incidentally.

In a similar vein, “Dear Abby” offered a letter from an employer in her column that appeared in yesterday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Please warn your readers that their Web pages and blogs could stand in the way of securing a job! Just as employers have learned to read e-mail and blogs, they have learned to screen candidates through their sites.

Many people in their 20s and 30s wrongly believe their creations are entertaining and informative. Employers are not seeking political activists, evangelizers, whiners or tattletales. They do not want to find themselves facing a lawsuit or on the front page of a newspaper because a client, patient or parent of a student discovered a comment written by an employee.

Abby, ever relevant, agrees and warns job seekers that their names might be googled.

Yes, employers should discount anyone and everyone who dares express an opinion or has done or said something significant enough to appear on a google search. Why bother to read and judge it? It’s much better to hire someone with no google hits instead of somebody who’s written something not expressly to impress the employer as part of their application packet.

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6 responses to “Fairfax County Puts Kabosh on Blogging”

  1. I love that, “wrongly believe.” That is so funny. I mean, sometimes the entries might be dull but even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Geez, are they allowed to read newspapers at work or talk to other employees? What a way to just come out and say it – no information for you or from you!

    Thou shalt not have an opinion!

    I guess VITA will be making the same statement soon for all state employees…

  3. About 2 years ago a potential employer googled me and found ODonnellWeb. He said knowing that I had opinions and could express them in complete sentences was a point in my favor. Really, I don’t want to work for anybody that would have a problem with it.

  4. debbie kurtz is the reason

    Richmond Sucks Less Than A Giant Squid.


  5. Funny thing is the amount of Fairfax employee’s that read our blog everyday.

  6. Crazy Joe Devola Avatar
    Crazy Joe Devola

    I’ve kabashed before, and I will…kabash again.

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