ITWorld.com blogger Cara Garretson says attendees at Forrester's recent Security Forum "broke into thunderous applause when two separate speakers spoke out against Twitter." And why not? According to one security pro quoted in the piece, "Twitter is scary."
Other experts we've talked to recently tend to agree. Craig Carpenter VP and general counsel at Recommind, told me not long ago it's just a matter of time before we see a lawsuit resulting from something posted on Twitter or Facebook. He made a similar comment in another IT Business Edge interview just last week, telling Susan Hall, "I'm not aware of a case in which Twitter was at issue.... but that will certainly change this year or early next year."
The problem, he says, is two-fold. First, the audience Twitter reaches is very wide. Second, people don't stop to think about what they're publishing in the context of who the people are that will read it, or even to proofread what they've written. It's easy for something to be taken out of context or for information that's not fit for publication to slip through unnoticed -- or at least unnoticed until after the damage is done.
Take, for instance, the ABC News staffers who tweeted a comment made by the president during "off the record chatter" before a televised interview. Even though the original "tweeters" went back and deleted the offending posts, the comment had already been disseminated widely.
ITWorld.com's Garretson suggests that security pros don't really have a say in whether Twitter is "banned" from use at their respective companies, but that they must work to satisfy employee demands while keeping the company's risk level down.
I don't agree. It may be true that they can't ban Twitter or other social networking platforms completely, but they can certainly limit its use, and severely so, if necessary.
The NFL has done so, and Carpenter says companies should absolutely have policies in place as to how it should be used for business purposes, if at all, and that those policies should be consistently enforced. After all, "a policy is only as good as its enforcement."