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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 20:06 GMT 21:06 UK
Council bans social network site
Facebook site
All 32,000 workers at the council are banned from using Facebook
Workers at Kent County Council (KCC) have been banned from using the social networking website Facebook.

The authority said it had restricted access to the site under its electronic-use policy, and was one of several organisations to take the step.

It said the move was an effort to reduce time-wasting, but some workers have objected and want Facebook back.

"Like any other organisation, we have a responsibility to keep our IT systems secure," the council said.

The authority employs 32,000 people.

It can be difficult to know when to stop
John Woodley

One Facebook user, John Woodley, said: "You have your network of friends and there is always that element of trying to develop other relationships and meet other people on there.

"We are social animals - it can be difficult to know when to stop."

Professor Frank Furedi, from the University of Kent, said the site could be "a very valuable asset for creating communities between employees".

He said: "It's a way that employees can share experiences, and it's a way that employers can learn about problems that exist in the workplace."

But employment lawyer Jonathan Gauton said: "Employers are facing employees who are wasting a lot of time, who are ill-focused on their correct responsibilities.

"Ultimately, they can be sanctioned. They can be disciplined for it, and we have seen employees ultimately dismissed."

Kent County Council bans staff from using the site at work

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