Conservatives, Facebook and the Culture of Paranoia

So the Ontario and Federal Public service banned facebook because it thought it was eating into work time. Fair enough.

The Canadian Conservative Party however, has taken it a step further. Not only are they banning their staffers from accessing facebook from work, they are prohibiting them from possessing a facebook profile (even on their own time, accessed through their own computer). As this Calgary Herald editorial points out – this sort of restriction and censorship is reasonable:

“There seems to be a palpable fear that something which might embarrass a cabinet minister might find its way into a staff member’s profile and thus fall into the hands of some gleeful journalist. Just for the optics, it’s probably a good idea to try to prevent that from happening.”

I love that the Conservatives have so little trust in their staff they feel it necessary to prevent them from showing their faces or sharing their interests in a public space – even a virtual one.

Just ‘for optics’ maybe ministers and the party should control every aspect of their staffers lives? One wonders what other public spaces the Conservative party should ban their staffers from being seen in? Online dating must be no-no (too much like facebook). What about job searches – posting one’s resume and profile sounds pretty risky. But why stop online? What about parties and bars? Staffer could engage in some activity that might embarrass their minister in these public spaces too. Following this logic, maybe Harper should ban staffer from attending parties?

I love the paranoia of this Prime Minister’s Office.

Also, a H/T to Taylor Owen for drawing my attention to the Calgary Herald editorial.

10 thoughts on “Conservatives, Facebook and the Culture of Paranoia

  1. David Eaves

    My friend Alison L. just emailed me to say that Harper actually has banned staffers from going to bars. Apparently, <a href=”http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/v5/content/subscribe?user_URL=http://www.theglobeandmail.com%2Fservlet%2Fstory%2FLAC.20070512.NOTEBOOK12%2FTPStory%2F%3Fquery%3DJane%2BTaber&ord=4437834&brand=theglobeandmail&redirect_reason=2&denial_reasons=none&force_login=false” rel=”nofollow”>Jane Taber has been covering the story.

    Reply
  2. ALo

    AHHH! Everyone, beware (or maybe I’m just the idiot).

    Intrigued, I clicked through Michele’s link to the SH site first, and tested the “support SH” link, thinking it would take me to something that would allow me to give money. I was only curious.

    Instead, “Alison Loat supports Stephen Harper” appeared on my newsfeed. I deleted it instantly – hopefully before it went any further!!

    There is a “remove support” link that I also clicked, but nothing appeared in my newsfeed as a result.

    Reply
  3. ALo

    AHHH! Everyone, beware (or maybe I’m just the idiot).Intrigued, I clicked through Michele’s link to the SH site first, and tested the “support SH” link, thinking it would take me to something that would allow me to give money. I was only curious.Instead, “Alison Loat supports Stephen Harper” appeared on my newsfeed. I deleted it instantly – hopefully before it went any further!! There is a “remove support” link that I also clicked, but nothing appeared in my newsfeed as a result.

    Reply
  4. Faith

    Hi David,

    I am a student at Humber College and we have to do a summary on your article “Facebook”

    I just looked you up on Google and came across your blog.

    I love you tagline and I must say you have the artcile was great.

    This is my first assignment, it is worth %10 and I really wanna get all of the %10 – wish me luck!

    Best Regards

    Reply
  5. Faith

    Hi David,I am a student at Humber College and we have to do a summary on your article “Facebook” I just looked you up on Google and came across your blog. I love you tagline and I must say you have the artcile was great.This is my first assignment, it is worth %10 and I really wanna get all of the %10 – wish me luck!Best Regards

    Reply

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