Blog article /3 MIN READ

How an archive can protect you when there’s a social media news ban

Organisations that rely on Facebook pages to communicate with customers, citizens and community were impacted today by a social media news ban

Are you at risk of losing your Facebook posts, comments and messages?

Australians who rely on Facebook for news, emergency warnings and public health updates were today faced with Facebook pages showing the ominous message ‘No posts yet’.

In this action, Facebook blocked Australian users from viewing or sharing news, a result of ongoing discussions between the social media giant and the Australian government

The news ban in February “… revealed something many of us technically knew but perhaps hadn’t fully grasped before: we don’t own the content we post on these platforms and can lose access to it at any time.”

The Guardian online 1 March 2021

Who is impacted?

For organisations who run the pages, the loss will be felt on multiple levels. 

Facebook is increasingly popular as a communication tool, because that’s what customers and communities want. The news ban impacts not only the organisations that provide information, but the people who look to Facebook as their preferred distribution channel to read it.

Conversations on government Facebook pages (the posts and comments, as well as private messages) are public record, which means they come with recordkeeping obligations that may not be met if organisations can’t access their records in the original social media channel and don’t have an archive.

This obligation carries over into many regulated sectors such as education and financial services. 

Aside from recordkeeping obligations, the loss of data can also interfere with key marketing activities such as campaign planning and audience analysis, as comments and other public and private interactions with your facebook page provide valuable insights about your audience.

Which organisations were blocked by Facebook?

There was some inconsistency about Facebook’s action today. It is not only bona fide news outlets that are currently showing empty pages. 

Public posts and comments disappeared from the Facebook pages of organisations like the Departments of Health in Queensland and South Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. These organisations provide important information like public health updates and emergency warnings.

In addition to the importance of these communications to members of the public who rely on them, affected pages also hold important data. The news ban impacted the ability of affected organisations to comply with recordkeeping laws. 

The Bureau of Meteorology provides vital weather information to Australians. Their Facebook page was one of those impacted by the news ban

Protect yourself against Australia’s social media news ban

Is it too late to create an archive of your records if you’ve been blocked by Facebook? At the time of writing, many of these non-news pages have been returned to their previous status, with posts and comments publicly visible.

But confidence has been eroded. If this could happen once, could it happen again? And what can we do to protect ourselves?

What we know is that there’s a good chance that if you can see your organisation’s records in the admin or edit view of Facebook, they can be captured in an archive. We don’t know if the situation will change, or when. 

If you’re already using Brolly, you’re covered. Brolly is like an insurance policy, capturing your records in real time – your posts, the public’s comments, the edit, delete and hide actions and all the metadata, links and media associated with them. 

So for FOI requests, audience insights, campaign reporting or if you’re required to provide evidence to royal commissions or other legal contexts, you have access to an authenticated, compliant record of your social media conversations. 

How a Brolly social media archive can help

Whether you’ve been affected by today’s Facebook block or you’re worried about what might happen next, archiving with Brolly will make sure your conversations are covered. 

With Brolly working in the background, your vital conversations are protected, and your recordkeeping obligations are covered. 

We’re 100% Australian owned and operated so your precious data is protected under Australian law, including the Privacy Act 1988, The Archives Act 1983, The Freedom of Information Act 1982, and related state and federal legislation and regulations. 

We’re trusted by government and Brolly was developed with recordkeeping compliance in mind. 

Our Australian-based support and technical team are world class, and available in your timezone. 

We’re a phone call away

If you need to act fast, a no-obligations free trial is available now on our website, or book a 20-minute call to discuss your requirements. 

Find out why you need Brolly today
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Book a 20 minute call to learn how Brolly provides social media archiving that protects your records, ensures you’re compliant with recordkeeping and data privacy laws and can save your social media and record management teams hours of effort each week.

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