Social networking and information policy

Social networking and information policy

What policy issues have resulted from social networking?

Did You Know 4.0, by xplanevisualthinking.

Watch this video carefully a second time, and identify
five (5) examples of ‘shifts’ or trends that can have an impact on how
individuals behave as a digital citizens. Then
outline (in @ 400 words)  how you
believe these behaviours can impact on the need for, and development of,
information policy in organisations to address these behaviours.
You may wish to explore these from either a user/customer
perspective or employee/employer perspective, or a combination of both, and you
may wish to consider this task within the specific context of your own library
and/or organisation, or you can address this task in general terms.

 5 examples of shifts:

1. People using blogs and messages boards to talk about work.

2. People are using this technology for politics.

3. The majority of people now own mobile phones.

4. People are no longer paying for content.

5. Things are changing rapidly.

People are now using their online profiles to discuss their offline lives, including negative things about the organisations they work for. The video noted that among larger U.S companies, 17% have disciplined an employee for violating their policies. Any policy that the organization implements must bear this in mind, and be carefully worded to protect the organization’s reputation online.

During Barack Obama’s campaign, he relied solely on social media for his fundraising. In another example, Twitter “played an unprecedented role in the Iranian elections”. People are now using their online social networks to express themselves politically. It is important, therefore, that when organisations are drafting their online policies, that they think about the impact of employees using work-related accounts to express their political views.

This video stated that 93% of adults owned a mobile phone. Additionally, the video predicted that “the mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool in 2020”. Information policy must be aware of how ubiquitous the mobile device is, and draft policies accordingly – As opposed to writing policies with only computers in mind.

People are no longer as willing to pay for content: For example, the video states that 95% of all songs downloaded the previous year (2008) were not paid for. This trend can also be seen in the decline of print newspaper users: Rather than buying newspapers, people are now preferring to read their news online. I believe that, when writing policies for information organisations, this should be seen from two angles. First of all, policies must be put in place that ensure that employees comply with copyright and intellectual property law when using online technology to provide information to their patrons. Second of all, policies should ensure that employees do not infringe on copyright themselves – for example, using work computers for illegal downloads.

Finally, policies must be able to cope with the rapid shifts that the video describes. Written policies will need to be flexible and allow for interpretation. They must be regularly reviewed and updated according to new trends, and can not be considered finished documents.


Xplanevisualthinking. (2009). Did you know 4.0. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s