Facebook Friends With Your Co-Workers? Survey Shows Your Boss Probably Disapproves

You and your colleagues pitch in together on difficult projects, lunch together, and have drinks together after work. You probably think it’s the most natural thing in the world to friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram. Your boss, though, probably thinks you shouldn’t.

That’s the surprising result of a survey of 1,006 employees and 307 senior managers conducted by staffing company OfficeTeam. Survey respondents were asked how appropriate it was to connect with co-workers on various social media platforms. It turns out that bosses and their employees have very different answers to this question.

When it comes to Facebook, 77 percent of employees thought it was either “very appropriate” or “somewhat appropriate” to be Facebook friends with your work colleagues, but only 49 percent of senior managers agreed. That disagreement carries over to other social media platforms. Sixty-one percent of employees thought it was fine to follow a co-worker on Twitter, but only 34 percent of bosses agreed. With Instagram, 56 percent of employees, but only 30 percent of bosses thought following a co-worker was appropriate. Interestingly, the one social platform bosses and employees seem to almost agree about is Snapchat, with 34 percent of employees thinking it was fine to connect with colleagues, and 26 percent of bosses thinking so too.

What should you do if you want to connect with a colleague on social media–if you get a connection request from a colleague? Here are a few options:

1. Use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn was not included in the OfficeTeam survey, but because it’s a professional networking tool, few bosses will object to you connecting with coworkers there. And LinkedIn has many of the same features as Facebook–you can even send instant messages to your contacts.

2. Keep your social media connections secret.

Most social networks give users the option to limit who can see what they post and who their other connections are. You can use this option to keep your social media interactions limited to the people you choose. If that doesn’t include your boss, he or she may never know that you and your co-workers are connected.

3. Talk to your boss.

He or she may not agree with the surveyed bosses who said connecting on social media was inappropriate, in which case there’s no problem. And if your boss does object, he or she may have some good reasons you hadn’t thought of to keep your professional life separate from your social media one. The only way to find out is to ask.

4. Consider the future.

It may be perfectly fine to connect with your co-workers on social media when you’re colleagues. But what happens if you get promoted to a leadership position? You may regret giving your former co-workers access to all the thoughts you share on Facebook or Twitter. So if a colleague sends you a social media request, or you want to make one yourself, take a moment to think it through. Will you be sorry one day–when you’re the boss yourself?

Tech

Why Facebook Is So Slow to Recognize Its Faults

Years of limited oversight and unchecked growth have turned Facebook into a force with incredible power over the lives of its two billion users. But the social network has also produced unintended social consequences — and they’re starting to catch up with it:

— House and Senate panels investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections have invited Facebook — along with Google and Twitter — to testify this fall. Facebook just agreed to give congressional investigators 3,000 political ads purchased by Russian-backed entities, and announced new disclosure policies for political advertising

— Facebook belatedly acknowledged its role purveying false news to its users during the 2016 campaign and announced new measures to curb it. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg even just apologized — more than 10 months after the fact — for calling the idea that Facebook might have influenced the election “pretty crazy.”

— The company has taken flak for a live video feature that was quickly used to broadcast violent crime and suicides; for removing an iconic Vietnam War photo for “child pornography” and then backtracking; and for allegedly putting its thumb on a feature that ranked trending news stories.

Facebook is behind the curve in understanding that “what happens in their system has profound consequences in the real world,” said Fordham University media-studies professor Paul Levinson. The company’s knee-jerk response has often been “none of your business” when confronted about these consequences, he said.

HANDS-OFF FACEBOOK

When such issues arise, Facebook generally restricts itself to bland assertions that its policies prohibit misuse of its platform and that it’s difficult to catch everyone who tries to abuse its platform. When pressed, it tends to acknowledge some problems, offer a few narrowly tailored fixes — and move on.

But there is a larger question the company hasn’t addressed direction: Has Facebook has taken sufficient care to build policies and systems that are resistant to abuse?

Facebook declined to address the subject on the record, although it pointed to earlier public statements in which Zuckerberg described how he wants Facebook to be a force for good in the world. The company also recently launched a blog called “Hard Questions” that attempts to address its governance issues in more depth.

But Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s No. 2 executive, has suggested that Facebook has work to do on this front. In a recent apology , she wrote that Facebook “never intended or anticipated” that people could use its automated advertising to target ads at “Jew haters” — that is, users who expressed anti-Semitic views in the Facebook profiles.

That, she wrote, “is on us. And we did not find it ourselves — and that is also on us.”

MOVING FAST, STILL BREAKING THINGS

Facebook’s often unresponsive response to crisis may not work much longer for a company that sometimes still seems to hew to its now-abandoned slogan — “move fast and break things.”

Facebook has so far enjoyed seemingly unstoppable growth in users, revenue and its stock price. But along the way, it has also pushed new features on to users even when they protested, targeted ads at them based on a plethora of carefully collected personal details, and even engaged in behavioral experiments that seek to influence their mood.

How it got here has to do with its exceptionalist company culture, a hands-off approach that values free speech over monitoring what its users post, and the fact that no matter how many people it hires, it will always have what amounts to a skeleton crew to deal with its huge user base.

“There’s a general arrogance — they know what’s right, they know what’s best, we know how to make better for you so just let us do it,” said Notre Dame business professor Timothy Carone, who added that this is true of Silicon Valley giants in general. “They need to take a step down and acknowledge that they really don’t have all the answers.”

MARKET INCENTIVES AND SOLUTIONS

Facebook depends on signing up as many users as possible — and pulling in as many advertising dollars as possible — to run its business. Its systems for signing up and for buying ads are both highly automated, a fact that makes the company both efficient and highly profitable.

In the first six months of 2017, Facebook pulled in sales of more than $ 17 billion and reported a profit of almost $ 7 billion.

It also helps explain not only why Facebook can seem so disengaged from its controversies, but also why it’s vulnerable in the first place, said David Gerzof Richard, a communications professor at Emerson College.

Russia, for instance, was able to exploit “the capitalist nature of what motivates Facebook,” Gerzof Richard said. If the company was truly focused on the “content, message and quality of ads,” he said, “there would be a very different platform for how you buy and place ads on Facebook.”

SOCIAL HACKING

Gerzof Richard thinks Facebook should view the “social hacking” of its platform — that is, the unintended uses that spring from human nature — much the way it has looks at technological challenges such as spam and data breaches.

Facebook already gives out “bug bounties” — that is, prizes for people who find technical flaws in its platform. Why not do the same for oversights that allow social hacks of its ad system, user newsfeeds and the like?

“We as a species are very, very inventive,” Gerzof Richard said. “You give someone a power tool and they will figure out ways to use it that the maker has never intended.”

–The Associated Press

Tech

Awful Australian election made more awful by awful Facebook Live videos

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The 2016 Australian election campaign has so far been the political equivalent of chipping off old nail polish. It seems only right it be accompanied by the most banal of content: The badly-shot Facebook Live video.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Liberal Party, has been facing off against Bill Shorten, leader of the Labor Party. Their parties may disagree on some points, but they definitely come together on garbage video quality.

If you enjoy your eyeballs being tossed like salad, try this video from the Australian Labor Party. Read more…

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Twitter, Facebook and Google being sued amidst claims they knowingly ‘aided Paris attacks’


Reynaldo Gonzalez’s daughter, Nohemi, was among the 130 killed when religious extremists attacked Paris last year. Now, he’s suing Twitter, Facebook and Google for facilitating the spread of “extremist propaganda” after alleging the trio “knowingly permitted” ISIS to recruit, raise money and spread its message across each of the respective platforms. According to court documents: “For years, [the companies] have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits. This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS, and has enabled it to…

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Waste the rest of your day with Facebook Messenger’s hidden basketball game

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Looks like someone in the Facebook team has caught the March Madness fever; in a small update to the Messenger app, typing in the basketball emoji can enable a secret mini-game between you and a friend. To start, just locate the basketball emoji (copy and paste ????, if you can’t find it in your growing emoji list), send it to a friend and click it to start the game. You’ll get a basketball placed in various locations on your screen, and all you have to do just swipe up toss the ball into the hoop. The goal is to challenge your friend to…

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Oculus adds new social games and Facebook sharing to Gear VR

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In case there were any lingering doubts about Facebook’s plans to make virtual reality more social, Oculus just unleashed a suite of new social features for the Gear VR

The Facebook-owned company is adding new Facebook sharing features, new social games and other features that will make Samsung’s Gear VR more social.

On the Facebook side of things, Gear VR is getting a dedicated section for Facebook videos. Beginning next week you’ll also be able to connect your Facebook account in order to see a feed of 360-degree videos that’s personalized based on the friends and pages you follow Read more…

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Facebook goes down and Twitter lights up

Facebook crashed for at least 10 minutes today and then struggled to fully come back online.

When users tried to open or refresh their Facebook pages a little after 12:30 p.m. ET today, they were greeted not with their news feed but with a largely blank screen that simply said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

The site began to come back online around 12:50 p.m., though some users reported still having trouble loading the site until about 1 p.m.

Facebook did not return a request for information on what caused the problem.

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Facebook is down, go do something more fun while it recovers [Update: It’s back!]

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Facebook is down for many users around the world, according to DownDetector.co.uk and reports on Twitter. It’s the second outage within a week for the social network, and many people are unable to log in and view those critical status messages, Pages and other updates. These problems don’t tend to last too long, but we’ve asked Facebook for a statement on the situation and will update here when normal service resumes. Until then, go fly a kite or something. Update: An intermittent service is coming back for some users but the site still isn’t back to normal. Some users are also still…

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