Facebook Friends With Your Co-Workers? Survey Shows Your Boss Probably Disapproves

You and your colleagues pitch in together on difficult projects, lunch together, and have drinks together after work. You probably think it’s the most natural thing in the world to friend them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram. Your boss, though, probably thinks you shouldn’t.

That’s the surprising result of a survey of 1,006 employees and 307 senior managers conducted by staffing company OfficeTeam. Survey respondents were asked how appropriate it was to connect with co-workers on various social media platforms. It turns out that bosses and their employees have very different answers to this question.

When it comes to Facebook, 77 percent of employees thought it was either “very appropriate” or “somewhat appropriate” to be Facebook friends with your work colleagues, but only 49 percent of senior managers agreed. That disagreement carries over to other social media platforms. Sixty-one percent of employees thought it was fine to follow a co-worker on Twitter, but only 34 percent of bosses agreed. With Instagram, 56 percent of employees, but only 30 percent of bosses thought following a co-worker was appropriate. Interestingly, the one social platform bosses and employees seem to almost agree about is Snapchat, with 34 percent of employees thinking it was fine to connect with colleagues, and 26 percent of bosses thinking so too.

What should you do if you want to connect with a colleague on social media–if you get a connection request from a colleague? Here are a few options:

1. Use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn was not included in the OfficeTeam survey, but because it’s a professional networking tool, few bosses will object to you connecting with coworkers there. And LinkedIn has many of the same features as Facebook–you can even send instant messages to your contacts.

2. Keep your social media connections secret.

Most social networks give users the option to limit who can see what they post and who their other connections are. You can use this option to keep your social media interactions limited to the people you choose. If that doesn’t include your boss, he or she may never know that you and your co-workers are connected.

3. Talk to your boss.

He or she may not agree with the surveyed bosses who said connecting on social media was inappropriate, in which case there’s no problem. And if your boss does object, he or she may have some good reasons you hadn’t thought of to keep your professional life separate from your social media one. The only way to find out is to ask.

4. Consider the future.

It may be perfectly fine to connect with your co-workers on social media when you’re colleagues. But what happens if you get promoted to a leadership position? You may regret giving your former co-workers access to all the thoughts you share on Facebook or Twitter. So if a colleague sends you a social media request, or you want to make one yourself, take a moment to think it through. Will you be sorry one day–when you’re the boss yourself?

Tech

Facebook Is Testing This Major Change

In a handful of countries.

Facebook said on Monday it was testing the idea of dividing its News Feed in two, separating commercial posts from personal news in a move that could lead some businesses to increase advertising.

The Facebook News Feed, the centerpiece of the world’s largest social network service, is a streaming series of posts such as photos from friends, updates from family members, advertisements and material from celebrities or other pages that a user has liked.

The test, which is occurring in six smaller countries, now offers two user feeds, according to a statement from the company: one feed focused on friends and family and a second dedicated to the pages that the customer has liked.

The change could force those who run pages, everyone from news outlets to musicians to sports teams, to pay to run advertisements if they want to be seen in the feed that is for friends and family.

The test is taking place in Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka, and it will likely go on for months, Adam Mosseri, the Facebook executive in charge of the News Feed, said in a blog post.

Mosseri said the company has no plans for a global test of the two separate feeds for its 2 billion users.

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Facebook also does not currently plan to force commercial pages “to pay for all their distribution,” he said.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., frequently tests changes big and small as it tries to maximize the time people spend scrolling and browsing the network. Sometimes it makes changes permanent, and other times not.

Depending on how people respond, two news feeds could mean that they see fewer links to news stories. News has proved to be a tricky area for Facebook, as hoaxes and false news stories have sometimes spread easily on the network.

The test has already affected website traffic for smaller media outlets in recent days, Slovakian journalist Filip Struhárik wrote over the weekend in a post on Medium.

Publishers might need to buy more Facebook ads to be seen, he wrote: “If you want your Facebook page posts to be seen in old newsfeed, you have to pay.”

Tech

Russia-Linked Facebook Ads to Be Released

Before Nov. 1.

The leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation said Wednesday they intend to publicly release thousands of politically divisive Facebook ads purchased by Russia during last year’s presidential election.

Representatives Mike Conaway and Adam Schiff told reporters after meeting with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that they were working with the company to release the ads publicly.

“We’ve asked for Facebook’s help to scrub any personally identifiable information, but it’s our hope that when that concludes we can release them publicly,” Schiff said.

Conaway said it was unlikely the ads would be released before Facebook will testify to Congress about Russian interference on Nov. 1.

The committee, one of the main congressional panels investigating allegations of Russian meddling, recently received more than 3,000 politically divisive ads believed to have been purchased by Russia. The social media company found them on its network and said they appeared in the months before and after the vote. Lawmakers in both parties had previously said they wanted to make the ads public.

Officials from Facebook and the committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sandberg’s meeting in Congress came as the world’s largest social media network, joined by a growing list of other major internet firms, finds itself on the defensive in Washington amid renewed scrutiny about how Moscow sought to use their platforms to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg is in Washington this week meeting with other lawmakers as well. She is expected to give a live interview with the news website Axios on Thursday.

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In addition to Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Twitter have recently detected that suspected Russian operatives used their platforms last year to purchase ads and post content that was politically divisive.

All three companies have been asked to testify publicly about Russian interference before both the House and Senate intelligence panels on Nov. 1. While Facebook and Twitter have confirmed plans to attend, Google has not.

Revelations over the past month about how Russia appears to have leveraged their platforms to spread propaganda have prompted questions from both political parties about whether more federal oversight of their businesses is needed.

Some Democrats plan to introduce legislation to require internet companies to disclose more information about political ad purchases on their platforms

Tech

Awful Australian election made more awful by awful Facebook Live videos

The 2016 Australian election campaign has so far been the political equivalent of chipping off old nail polish. It seems only right it be accompanied by the most banal of content: The badly-shot Facebook Live video.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Liberal Party, has been facing off against Bill Shorten, leader of the Labor Party. Their parties may disagree on some points, but they definitely come together on garbage video quality.

If you enjoy your eyeballs being tossed like salad, try this video from the Australian Labor Party. Read more…

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Facebook goes down for some users

This story was updated at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Facebook went down for some users Thursday, but appears to be back up and running for others. The website “Is it Down Right Now?” lists Facebook as having “service disruptions.”

Visitors to Facebook.com were greeted by the message, “Sorry, something went wrong” instead of the usual Facebook homepage when visiting on the web, starting at about 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday. Facebook’s mobile apps didn’t appear to be affected.

Facebook’s app status dashboard shows a “major outage” beginning at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET. The service reports its key Facebook Graph API — the core software that apps use to read and write to Facebook — became unavailable at that time. Read more…

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