The National Union of Students (NUS) has released a joint statement urging Facebook to review their media ban and exempt student media outlets and essential support services.
27 student media outlets, unions and organisations have signed in an attempt to support students across the country and internationally.
The statement emphasises the imperative of having student media, particularly as it lands during the beginning of the university year: “In a year where over half of our Orientation Weeks are online only, 160,000 International Students are stuck overseas and states are in and out of lockdown, we need access to student media more than ever.”
NUS President Zoe Raganathan has called the banning of support services a “gross oversight” and highlights the carelessness of the decision as it “puts vulnerable students in danger.”
ANU’s Woroni addressed the blurred nature of the definition of media that the government has provided, allowing Facebook to remove all media sites: “As non-commercial student media, we do not believe we fall under [the government’s proposed news code]”.
Indeed, the ban has not only restricted most media, but also integral support services such as mental health and sexual assault services. The report highlights that they “are needed by the community more than ever.”
The statement concluded by assuring that “students and young people will look to other social media platforms who we can rely on in the future.”