Whitehall is preparing to read the riot act to civil servants with a set of guidelines on the use of blogs and social networks.
The move follows embarrassing revelations made by the so-called 'Civil Serf' blogger.
The Times Online reported that Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell will tell officials what they can and cannot do on sites such as Facebook and YouTube, and how to stay within the bounds of the civil service code.
A Cabinet Office spokesman has denied that the guidelines are a direct response to damaging comments made by the now defunct Civil Serf blog, but the move will still send a shot across the bows to any would be Whitehall bloggers.
The Civil Serf blog, which accused senior politicians of being lazy and indecisive, was taken down on 16 March fuelling speculation that Whitehall had finally caught up with the blogger.
"Ministers only take decisions at the weekend (probably) because they have their spouse and/or political adviser to do it for them," read a recent Civil Serf posting.
The blogger, a 33 year-old female from London, is believed to work for the Department for Work and Pensions because of numerous references to former Works and Pensions secretary Peter Hain.
The Cabinet Office said that the imminent publication of official social media guidelines is in response to an independent report entitled The Power of Information (PDF) published in January last year.
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