OUTinPerth statement on Facebook Australian news ban

The team at OUTinPerth are shocked and dismayed to have been targeted by Facebook in their ban on news content.

Australians awoke this morning to discover the social media behemoth had banned Australians from viewing any form of news information across the social media platform. OUTinPerth, the small news organisation that has served Western Australians for the last 19 years has had all its posts blocked from being viewed by readers the local community and across Australia.

“This is a completely shocking move by the tech giant,” said owners Leigh Andrew Hill and Graeme Watson. “Our business in a social enterprise, we’re here to bring a community together and share essential information about politics, health, and culture.”

“To describe this as a David and Goliath battle would be an understatement. We’re an organisation that is run by a team of two people, with the help of enthusiastic volunteers and loyal supporters. We’ve never been asked by Facebook or the Australian Government for our thoughts on this issue, it’s a war we’ve played no part in until now.”

“It is reprehensible that this news ban has also targeted many of the organisations we work closely with, including health and community service providers. To see organisations like the WA AIDS Council, Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ), Youth Affairs Council of WA (YACWA), non-profit community radio station RTRFM 92.1 and even Australian state health departments hit by this attack is completely abhorrent.”

“This decision from Facebook comes as small media companies deal with significantly reduced income as a result of the pandemic, and the looming end of the JobKeeper program,” the team said.

“LGBTQIA+ community media plays no small role in keeping people connected, an essential touchstone for many enduring the current global health crisis. The effects of this decision will have much deeper ramifications than an absence of articles on Facebook’s news feed.”

OUTinPerth will continue to provide news and essential information for our community via our website and other social media platforms.

Graeme Watson & Leigh Andrew Hill 

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