Facebook banned at Portsmouth City Council

Is five minutes a month too much time for an employee to be spending on Facebook?

Portsmouth City Council has banned its employees from using Facebook after it was revealed they were wasting time on the social network.

On average, the 4,500 staff were spending a total of around 400 hours on Facebook each month, which the council said added up to between five and six minutes per month for each person.

According to reports, use of all social networks peaked at 572 hours in the month of August. This was one of the reasons that has led to a blanket ban by the council's chief executive David Williams.

"We revised the policy in July to facilitate work life balance and allow things like internet banking in staff's own time, but we intend to restrict internet access to social networking sites more than at present for non-business use," he said in a statement.

"Any member of staff may, under this revised policy, make a business case to have these sites unblocked if they need to use them for council business."

Tom Newton, a product manager at web filtering firm Smoothwall, said that the ban could penalise many honest users who were looking at the site at break times, which the council admitted it couldn't determine.

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