The News Weekly was alerted to the fact that a number of comments opposing the proposed increases in council rates had been removed from the Bega Valley Shire Council’s Facebook page.
However, council is in the clear of any such misdeed such as trying to gag debate.
The comments were removed when the council made changes to its Facebook page.
“We’ve changed the way people can comment on our page by moving the comments section to tie in with our posts,” said council’s communications co-ordinator Jeff Donne.
“This unfortunately means a number of posts from the old section are no longer viewable.”
Mr Donne said the change reflected a widely adopted approach used by businesses and organisations using Facebook, including local government and some Fairfax Media pages.
“It allows for conversation to be on-topic and throws open discussion to a wider range of issues.
“People are still free to comment on our posts, and are able to send us a message through Facebook on any matter they wish.”
Mr Donne said that all traditional modes of communication “are of course welcome and always will be.”
“Once the public process for the Special Variation (proposed rate increases) opens there will be much discussion on our Facebook page regarding this issue,” Mr Donne said.
Questions awaiting a response in the old section will be answered through Facebook’s private messaging service, he said.