German companies block access to social networks

Two weeks ago, I blogged about how German car maker Porsche was blocking employees’ access to social networks such as Facebook and Xing for fears of industrial espionage. Yesterday, German weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported that more and more German companies are blocking social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

“For the majority of our employees many external social media sites are not accessible at work for security reasons,” a spokesperson for Commerzbank said.

Other companies such as Volkswagen, E.On and HeidelbergCement have banned Facebook and Twitter at work for some or most employees. While security reasons may be the most cited argument to block access to social networks, other reasons include productivity loss and increased strain on internal networks as employees download or stream large video files at work.

Footnote: The official Volkswagen page on Facebook has 484,000 fans.