There are a couple of different ways to look at the recent reports that the computers used by Maryland's General Assembly can no longer retrieve Facebook or MySpace pages. Is it really necessary for these individuals to be wasting their time on social networking sites, chatting with their friends, throwing virtual snowballs, and gathering a team for Mafia Wars? On the other hand, Facebook and MySpace are great places to reach out to the masses with key updates, as well as offering a forum to contact a legislator, which is not always easy to do.
According to the Sun article at least 43 members of the General Assembly use Facebook. That's a pretty small percentage, but at the very least, it shows that these people are just like those people who they represent: Individuals who enjoy keeping in contact with other individuals.
Officials said the ban came at a time when there had been an increase in viruses and malware within the General Assembly computers. Of course, having a Facebook account has nothing to do with infecting your computer with this worm, since it's activated from clicking on a link in an email that appears to come from Facebook. Maybe the government IT guys should focus their time on training people to be alert regarding suspected virus and spam email and websites, instead of just blocking random social networking sites.