Facebook Use Lands City Employees in Trouble

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Dallas City Manager worries that city workers might be wasting city time on Facebook.

    Constantly checking Facebook at work may get you in trouble.

    A recent report from the Associated Press says two dozen Dallas City Hall workers received reprimands or counseling after a recent probe showed they spent too much time on the social networking site.

    Don't we all, but counseling? Really? Anyhow, the findings are prompting officials with City Hall to establish new employee guidelines for social media use. Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm said employees aren't allowed to do personal business when they're being paid by taxpayers.

    Too Much Time Online?

    [DFW] Too Much Time Online?
    The Dallas City Manager worries that city workers might be wasting city time on Facebook.

    Last January, NBC 5 requested the usage information from the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Arlington, Denton and Plano.  The last four cities weren't able to pull that data. 

    Fort Worth's top Facebook users all came from the library with the exception being one person in the community relations department.  The city also added that their tracking software couldn't distinguish between Facebook ads and Facebook's website if the user had Facebook access.  So the numbers may be inflated by as much as 20 percent.

    In Dallas, Cesar Baptista, an assistant director in the water department, had Facebook open for 68 hours during a three-month period.

    Three months, roughly 12 weeks or 70 business days ... that's less than an hour a day.  That doesn't seem that bad, actually. Either way, Baptista, who says he no longer opens the site at work, said he often opened his Facebook page in the morning and didn't close it while he did other things -- so that hour a day may be a bit misleading.

    In all, City Hall employees logged 24,175 hours on the site in 2010, with the Top 5 offenders bringing in 827 of those hours.

    Instead of using company computers, which you have to assume are monitored, couldn't you just check-in using your smartphone?

    NBC 5's Shane Allen contributed to this report.