Government and council employees in the UK using social networking sites at work or posting inappropriate comments from home are likely to face serious action, which includes being sacked.
Police censured eight employees last year after they found using police computers to chat with their friends online.
Another council caught staff using special software to get around a ban on using office computers to tweet on Twitter and ‘update their status’ on Facebook during working hours.
Now, Government departments and quangos, including officials planning the 2012 Olympics, have issued written guidelines to staff detailing their restrictions on using the sites, reports the Daily Mail.
They are also paying thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to outside consultants for courses on the do’s and don’ts of how to behave on Facebook and similar sites.
Last year it was revealed how Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, was left exposed by a personal security breach after his wife published intimate photos and family details on Facebook.
Last month the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) distributed a guide to all employees stating: “Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter have become very popular and offer significant business benefits. Their use poses risks both to the data on the ODA IT system and to the users of the sites and ODA.”
A letter to staff said they are allowed to use social networking sites in lunch break but warn: “You must not publish content about London 2012.”