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Concordia shuts down wired Facebook access | Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Facebook access at Concordia available on wireless network only

Starting September 2008, access to the social networking service Facebook will be available only on Concordia’s wireless network.

The service will no longer be accessible from desktop computers with only a wired connection to the Concordia University network.

[...]

Concordia’s network administrators are not trying to block access to Facebook, but to manage the manner in which the Concordia community accesses the service.

The university has decided to implement the restriction because of concerns that the continuing reliability of the Concordia wired network could be compromised because of spam, viruses and leaks of confidential information related to use of the social networking site.

I'll admit that the given reasons behind the restrictions are obviously bullshit / filler text (spam and viruses aren't any more likely to come from Facebook than from other web service that users are allowed to access). The real reasons behind this change are somewhat more political and pragmatic: control the amount of time that students, staff and faculty spend wasting their working hours on Facebook. If they've made this change there probably was already a problem with users using Facebook in excessive or inappropriate ways (which, of course, Facebook is designed to encourage).

Indeed, pretty much everyone I know who uses Facebook in any useful way has become less productive than they were before joining Facebook. Either way, Concordia is to be commended for stepping in and making what may well be a very unpopular decision for reasons that those without all the facts may not fully understand yet - this is, in essence, one of the principle roles of any government.

I try to steer clear of statements like "the ends justify the means", but I think it might very well apply here.

(via Christine)