In a post provocatively titled 'Is Twitter dangerous?", fellow ZDNet blogger Michael Krigsman says that the micro-blogging platform Twitter is becoming a serious threat to corporate information protection.
Krigsman writes: "The program’s great strength — many-to-many messaging — becomes its great weakness in this context." He gives the example of a confidential meeting, where one attendee is using Twitter.
This attendee broadcasts an off-hand “tweet” (Twitter comment) to his or her “followers” (Twitter friends). With traditional instant messaging, that message would be received by perhaps one or two others. With Twitter, that comment may be seen by 10, 100, 1000, or more followers.
Krigsman's advice to corporate IT managers is to establish clear information sharing policies and guidelines. Twitter and similar social software isn't going away, he says, and the only answer is to be "prepared to strongly enforce information-sharing policies."
On the other hand, Jason Lee Miller, writing on WebProNews, paints a rather more optimistic picture of Twitter's influence on the corporate world. Miller says that Twitter is potentially a great tool for whistle blowers and therefore may in fact encourage better corporate governance.
When everyone's a potential whistleblower, and the ears potentially listening to that whistle are ever expanding, we could see the rise of greater corporate consciousness toward ethical consistency, Google's Don't Be Evil philosophy expanded beyond Mountain View. This is a somewhat traditional moralistic view, an invisible eye that makes you behave.
So which is it?