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Town of Princeton no longer able to post notices to community Facebook groups

‘It just threw us back 20 years, maybe even further’

Keeping connected to vital information in the Town of Princeton just got a lot harder.

On the heels of the Meta news ban, which prevents news organizations from posting links to stories on Facebook, as of Friday, Sept. 1 the municipality is unable to post links from its website to the area’s many community Facebook groups.

The town has routinely used community groups to keep residents up-to-date on municipal matters.

“It’s to get information out, so sometimes it’s bylaw information, sometimes it’s updates that are pertinent to things that are going on in the community, evacuation alerts and those sort of things, even meeting notices,” said Mayor Spencer Coyne.

All municipal posts on at least six community groups have been deleted, going back four years.

The reason given is the posts “go against community standards for cybersecurity.”

Using the community pages is a key part of the town’s communication strategy, he added.

“It just threw us back 20 years, maybe even further.”

Council and staff are now discussing how to move forward.

“We are super frustrated by this and we are exploring all options.”

It is unknown whether the situation is linked to the Meta news ban.

“I don’t know, but it’s suspicious timing,” said Coyne. “That has been one of my concerns from day one, that municipalities would get trapped or caught up in all this. It’s suspicious anyways.”

Coyne has submitted many requests to FB for reviews of the deleted posts, and they have been denied.

The town is still able to post links from its website to its own three official Facebook pages; Town of Princeton, Town of Princeton Emergency Management and Town of Princeton Recreation.

Coyne is urging all residents to follow these pages and to also stay connected through local media.

“We just want to get the information out there.”

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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