There is One Born Every Minute

And apparently Reuters hires a lot of them. This article discusses a “report” that supposedly shows that companies are losing four billion dollars a year in Australia alone because of employees using Facebook. From the article:

Cullen said his findings were based on a typical Facebook user, earning an average wage, spending an hour a day on line. He then calculated the cost to companies if one person in every organization spent an hour on Facebook instead of working.

“We got the extraordinary figure of A$5 billion,” he said.

I just bet they did.

The first thing you should notice is the company doing the report did no research what so ever as to how many employees actually spent time on Facebook on the job. They just made some ridiculously simplistic assumptions and came up with a ridiculously high number.

The second thing you should notice is that the company doing the report is SurfControl, described in the article simply as an “Internet security company”. The article does not mention that by coincidence SurfControl makes a product to prevent employees from going to sites like Facebook. One would think that if Reuters did any basic reporting they would have figured this out.

I don’t really blame SurfControl for this. Reuters was probably just too easy a mark to resist.


One response to “There is One Born Every Minute

  1. Facebook is today’s answer to the question ‘how can I waste my time at work’. In 1970 it was the water cooler, in the ’90s it was Windows Solitaire.

    I’m sure someone will come up with a Facebook crawler application that can monitor employee’s posts, including time of day, then directly update their personnel files…

    Technology will have an answer — bad managers with scores of unmotivated staff need not worry!


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