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Appendix B: Social media tools issues and concerns

The following list of questions and concerns as related to use of social media tools is rank ordered. The number in parentheses next to each of the categories indicates the number of votes it received from workshop participants.

Exploratory Social Media Project: Phase I
State agency workshop results
Social media issue statements
Resources (20)
  • Can’t keep up with current communication responses—the number will even increase
  • IT resources already oversubscribed
  • No organized web management support for the technology
  • Concerns regarding training costs
  • It’s not always possible to answer questions in “real” time—if questions are asked in off hours and no staff is available
  • Cost of maintaining connections (i.e. if somebody has to respond)
  • Maintaining multi-language multi-cultural presence
  • Use of tools is not “instant”—logging in, large graphics/maps
  • Translation into different languages
  • Non-millennial factor—average state worker’s age is 47
  • Cost of development (especially Labor’s virtual world)
  • Maintaining the site (keeping info up to date)
  • Impact on network resources—bandwidth, malware
  • How to integrate the technology with existing systems?
  • Current environment already stretched—can staff take on more responsibilities?
  • Support costs (for internal implementation—sw, support, disk space; for external—monitoring content)
  • Lack of experience with the social networking tools and very small staff to implement initiatives
  • Allocation of resources to manage info
  • Internal resources to manage the content
  • Resources: how do you allocate more staff time with less staff resources
  • Time—if you want people to follow, you must provide “fresh” information
  • Productivity vs. bandwidth concerns—Is your network ready? Can you monitor and ID problems?
Legal and regulatory ramifications (19)
Internal vs. external
  • Safety related—how do you justify sending a tweet to people’s cell phones when they are driving and NYS law prohibits cell phone use and texting
  • Do all social media address the policy/legal/regulatory requirements of US/state/local governments
  • Potential to drive traffic for labor sites
  • Are you friends with everyone? Who is allowed access?
  • E-discovery issues
  • Can you/should you block access to “troublemakers”?—they are members of the public
  • Agreement of use—what are we signing up for?
  • Ownership of content by the “tool”
  • Controlling the message—how to control/moderate comments in political environment? Incivility
  • 1st amendment rights—FOIL
  • Content is “owned” by the site—how will it be used in the future
  • “illegal activities”—employees downloading pirated software, movies, music has collateral legal risk for the agency
  • Controlling legitimate use (work)
  • Misuse of state and agency resources
  • Controlling legitimate use (work)
  • Security will not allow staff to access public sites (FB, LinkedIn)
  • HR issue: is access to social medial detrimental to productivity
  • Staff use
  • Work productivity takes a seat, everyone is socializing
  • Lack of control over/monitoring of communications
  • Loss of productivity
  • Monitoring employees
  • Crossover between work and personal life—lack of boundaries
Governance (17)
Liability for information posted (2)
  • How do you ensure all communication platforms are successfully updates at the same time to ensure accuracy and consistency (web, HAR, VMS, Transalert)
  • Internal staffing: who maintains social media presence? IT or PIO? How to manage messages from multiple sources?
  • Controlling/managing content/message released . . . (formal policy, procedures are key)
  • Posting of sensitive information
  • Perceived endorsement of information contained on site (ads, opinions, etc.)
  • Deliberate posting of misinformation—how to prevent it?
  • Concerns about accuracy of content and legal issues
  • Sensitive information leakage—how much?
  • Assuring information validity + source reliability and/or authority
  • If manual, not automated—in a real time environment how to ensure messages are appropriate according to agency policy/procedures without approval process
  • Agency staff speaking publicly without approval
  • Want to ensure that info shared is valuable—not just use because everyone else is
  • Information is too “instant”—incorrect info or too much info
  • Consistency of message
  • Coordination of all of the agency information sources—what is “official” communication?
  • You can’t take anything back
  • Hacking + hijacking risks—someone else gets your account credential and posts as you/your agency)
  • Managing content release—(only releasable information)
  • Information leaks
  • Once it’s out, it’s out
  • No ability to create and post appropriate content: meaning people to make messages and tech. access to post them
  • You can’t always “control” the message
  • Do you allow comments?
  • Most business/agencies block access to social media—how to get to people during workday
Cost-benefit—business value (13)
All eggs in one basket (2)
  • How to determine (with some types of social media) if there is a cost/benefit
  • Lack of business case
  • Unstable unreliable environment
  • Government dragging its feet in a fast moving technology world
  • Use of negative posts by oversight/legislative type bodies against the agency
  • How long will this last? What’s the next big thing?
  • Are we missing opportunities
  • Costs associated with supporting vs. benefits + given risks
  • Dependence on different single tools by different agencies may lead to selective benefits (plus related privacy issues)
  • All eggs in one basket
Security (12)
  • Security issues: for our constituents and for our networks (computers)
  • Security issues both with internal use (viruses and malware)
  • Malware—going viral in a bad way) due to the rich application environment (peer to peer file sharing, up loads and downloads)
  • Security—both information and architecture, especially for legacy information (anonymous reporting – is this even possible now?)
  • Dependencies on communication channels outside your control—may evolve/evaporate unexpectedly (here today, . . .)
  • Data Loss/leakage—confidential/sensitive information accidentally/intentionally, accurate or malicious info
  • Data aggregation—enables profiling of employees/agency leading to increased social engineering and ID theft opportunities
  • Security
  • Security of information
  • IT worried about security
  • Information security
  • Security concerns download viral programs
  • Social networking sites are vulnerable to ill intent – malware, virus, hacking – thus integrity and availability is questionable
  • Risk of malware infecting agency network
  • Social engineering—identity theft
  • Some times it is dangerous—texting, web-browsing while driving
Accessibility (7)
  • A concern that social networking tools may not be accessible for people with disabilities
  • Constituents are not connected to the internet
  • External accessibility for PWDs—some agencies posting to social media to avoid NYS policy
  • Stimulating participation by non-traditional technology users
  • Finding technologies to reach widest population within NYS
  • Digital divide—will agencies have to maintain multiple communications channels
  • Usability—need to use plain language, develop skills
  • Accessibility of social media
Perception (3)
  • Can raise false expectations
  • Acceptance in the social media world
  • Opening up medium for negative feedback from public
  • Answering criticism for use of “unsecure”, “punk media”, “uncontrolled”, “indiscriminate” channels
  • Some (older) managers view all social media as a “time waster” (vs. a tool)
  • Management: Too cool for government
  • Getting executive buy-in
  • Perception that it is very hard to meet needs of people with disabilities
  • Negative information reflecting the agency
  • Public relations
  • Negative blow-back/civility
  • Embarking on something “new” is out of comfort zone
  • Reputational damage—data leakage, inaccurate information, negative comments, exposure of internal matters, loss of public trust
  • Convincing some people on the value—not a waste of time
  • Perception: wasting taxpayer money on frivolous pursuits
  • Dealing with negative comments/feedback in a public forum
  • Is it OK/appropriate to be “fun” and “social”
Information overload
  • Information overload—too much, too many sources, can’t digest it all, don’t know where to look or what to believe
  • Documentation
  • So much information that is shared to find the right source
  • Social vs. authoritative: how much is too much? You don’t want to be a broadcaster, you want to engage
  • When people follow too many tweets the messages tend to get lost