A Facebook friend you may not want?

Trust the Aussies to set a precedent as new adaptors: an Australian court has ruled that it is acceptable to use social media – specifically, in this case, Facebook – to serve legal notice.

This is a move that’s going to be tracked in quite a few jurisdictions because to date, there’s been considerable ambivalence about how to treat this newfangled technology. Many companies and most levels of government in Canada have prohibited or strictly limited access in the workplace. The underlying belief is that employees will spend all day poking each other instead of working and productivity will suffer.

That conviction, however, can come at a cost. Social media are an important way to keep in touch with what others are saying, doing, thinking. It’s an important if non-traditional, window into emerging trends and the collective unconscious.

And, as they’ve discovered in Australia, it’s a highly efficient to reach out and super poke someone who isn’t necessarily eager to be found by creditors or other authorities. Which is just the beginning of an inevitable attitudinal shift.

Gordon Buckland