Campbelltown MP Greg Warren has written to Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, to highlight the impact Facebook’s ban on news organisations will have in Campbelltown.
There are a number of local media outlets in Campbelltown and the Macarthur region that rely heavily on Facebook to distribute information and connect with their readership.
Facebook has blocked any site that publishes news content, including the South West Voice in Macarthur. However the Voice news content is still available on its website, www.southwestvoice.com.au, its weekly free newsletter and on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mr Warren said Campbelltown residents had become collateral damage in the stand-off between the Australian Government and the social media platform.
“I understand this is a complex issue on both sides, but it is bewildering that the situation has come to this,” he said.
“Ultimately it’s the people that rely on connecting with media outlets via Facebook that are the real victims.
“No one wins if both the Australian Government and Facebook continue to kick the can down the road.”
Mr Warren said the ban came at an incredibly bad time given the situation with COVID-19.
“We rely on media outlets to provide updates and health warnings about the pandemic,” he said.
“At a time like this we should be encouraging the spread of health advice, not limiting it.
“Community media outlets are still reeling from the pandemic which saw hundreds laid off and publications cease printing.
“This stand-off between the Australian Government and Facebook is the last thing local media or our community need.”