Facebook Too Cool for Ontario Government?

Earlier this week, the Ontario Government decided that Facebook was off limits to any Ontario government employee, MPPs, aides and cabinet ministers.  And, with usual sneaky tactics, didn't notify anyone of the decision, but simply sent the word to the IT group to filter out Facebook at the firewall level. Facebook has been relegated to the same status as porn now, at least as far as the government is concerned. Funny - considering all the interest and added attention that some gov't folks, on both sides of the border, are having with MySpace and Facebook accounts. It seems like a no brainer for sharing information and getting out to the public in a manner much less invasive than canvassing the neighbourhood.

Throughout the country, interesting backlash is occurring, as more and more people sign up for Facebook accounts. Students are getting suspending for talking about teachers, employees are being locked out of the site through company firewalls. It's a tool, just like email, IM or blogging.

"We have to have the conversation about what's private, what's public,what are the protocols, what are the rules, because I think it's veryunclear," said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.

"We need to realize that these technologies exist, and we need to berealistic that they're not going away, and we need to help our studentsto deal with them."

I have a feeling that Kathleen Wynne could learn quite a few things from Ontario students. Her *interest* in helping students deal with the internet sounds like a distraction from the real issues at hand - transparency in education, and the new realization that if you are a sub-rate teacher, it's not something that can stay secret for very long. Gone are the days of students with no power to effect change on bad teachers. Hello transparent education system.

Could banning be the next indication of success for web 2.0 apps? :-)



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