Facebook ban for workers

SUFFOLK police employees and Ipswich Hospital staff are today banned from using the social networking website Facebook while at work.It comes as a number of organisations nationally change their restricted list of sites - which stop employees accessing internet pages containing inappropriate material such as pornography and gambling - to include chat sites.

SUFFOLK police employees and Ipswich Hospital staff are today banned from using the social networking website Facebook while at work.

It comes as a number of organisations nationally change their restricted list of sites - which stop employees accessing internet pages containing inappropriate material such as pornography and gambling - to include chat sites.

The public bodies in Suffolk that do not allow employees to go onto Facebook already had their policies in place to cover other networking sites.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said “Moderate personal use of the internet is allowed and is carefully monitored.

“We take the view that we want to be supportive to staff and we do not allow access to any social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and MSN, partly because we believe it's better to prevent staff from getting into trouble by spending a long time on those websites.

“We know they can be engaging and time-consuming.”

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At West Suffolk Hospital employees can log onto Facebook, a spokeswoman said.

Suffolk police said it did not allow access to the site in order to protect the “security and integrity” of data held on its server.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “Facebook and other social networking sites are not specifically included in the policy, but not excluded either.

“All users are expected to act in a 'reasonable, ethical and lawful manner'. Misuse of ICT resources can be detected, and may result in disciplinary action.”

The organisations revealed their stance on Facebook as Medway NHS Trust, based in Kent, said it would ban workers from accessing social networking websites.