Tasmania Premier Blasts Social Media Restrictions

The moment you post something onto social media, you lose control over who might access it.

It could be your parents or children. It could be your partner or boss. And if you’re a public servant, you can bet your posts will trickle through to the general public.

Public servants, then, should think twice before sending anything out into the world wide web.

But the proposed social media rules banning Tasmanian public servants from criticising the state government online go too far. And they won’t be given the green light by Premier Will Hodgman.

The guidelines, drafted by the State Service Management Office, ban commenting, liking, sharing social media posts and being ‘associated’ with political groups online.

They were this week criticised as extreme overreach by the union representing the majority of Tasmania’s 29,000 public sector staff.

Mr Hodgman said he won’t implement the guidelines in their current form as they don’t pass the common sense test.

It will not be signed off on until it meets community expectations and standards and I don’t think this draft does,’ he said on Wednesday.

I can assure Tasmania’s public servants that this is a draft and a draft only.

The online conduct and actions of state government staffers has hit headlines after Cricket Australia’s sacking of Angela Williamson.

Ms Williams was fired by CA after criticising the state government’s void of abortion services.

A senior state government staffer was forced to resigned after she took screenshots of Ms Williamson’s tweets under a fake account and reported them to CA.

Ms Williamson has also accused a senior member of the state government of accessing her health information and leaking it to her employer.

Mr Hodgman said the draft social media guidelines were being worked on prior to Ms Williamson’s sacking in June.

There’s no correlations between the two, the redrafting of the policy commenced some years ago,’ Mr Hodgman said.

The Community and Public Sector Union on Tuesday said the draft social media rules were a significant tightening of current guidelines and would stop public servants from engaging in debate.

The June draft warns staff of the implications of ‘liking’ social media posts and says breaches of the code could lead to dismissal.

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The Australian Tribune with AAP

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