Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/05/welsh_civil_servants_social_media_slapdown/

Welsh bureaucrats busted for getting political on Twitter, Facebook

Should have done it in Welsh, nobody would have known

By Anna Leach

Posted in Networks, 5th March 2013 08:58 GMT

Three Welsh civil servants were slapped down last year for giving out their opinions on social media, a Freedom of Information request from the BBC has revealed.

One public servant got a slapdown for posting a comment about Government policy on Twitter, a second tweeting bureaucrat criticised a government consultation and a third got themselves in hot water by making political comments on a personal Facebook account.

The bureaucrats were all given warnings in 2012 for misusing social media.

In the years previous, Welsh civil servants have got in trouble for other matters - in one case, after the civil servant took to Facebook to moan about a colleague.

But though this was done on a private Facebook account over a personal computer, it involved a colleague's name and got the bitching bureaucrat a smack from civil service bosses.

Civil Servants are obliged to be politically impartial, the Welsh government stated.

As members of the UK civil service, Welsh government staff are obliged to adhere to the civil service code, and the provisions in the code governing honesty, political impartiality, objectivity and integrity.

Social media has become an increasing source of friction in employment law. A Manchester man recently won a case of unfair dismissal after his boss demoted him for opposing gay marriage on Facebook. Similar cases in America last year prompted politicians to debate laws forbidding bosses from asking for social media passwords. ®