On Thursday nearly 30,000 LGBTQI community members lost access to Star Observer’s Facebook page. On a daily basis they accessed Australian generated, queer focused content from across our country and around the world.
For over 42 years the Star Observer has been one of Australia’s only LGBTQI owned and operated publishing businesses. We provided some of the first coverage in Australia about the HIV AIDS epidemic. This week we were the only media outlet to report on a shortage of PrEP in Australia. We condemn Facebook’s decision to remove that and other posts that inform and champion the issues of the community.
Facebook’s decision to block access to often life-saving information from one of Australia’s and the world’s oldest running LGBTQI publications comes in the midst of a global pandemic. Just when COVID-19 vaccine rollouts are due to begin in Australia, it is a disconcerting, troubling and irresponsible development.
Since 1979, the Star Observer has printed, published and distributed a freely available LGBTQI print publication containing unique and vital Australian content.
We will not be silenced by Mark Zuckerberg. We intend to continue printing and freely disturbing queer community news without fail. We will ensure our readers are able to access crucial news and information on all the available social media as well as via old-fashioned, offline platforms.
We encourage everyone to subscribe to our regular e-newsletter for free. Once a week subscribers will receive our diverse community news coverage along with national and international LGBTQI stories in your inbox free of charge. Our stories are not barricaded behind a corporate paywall. Please comment sensibly and sensitively on our website without fear of being censored.
Facebook didn’t invent robust, credible, independent journalism. But they’re doing everything they can to kill it. Log on to www.starobserver.com.au and subscribe to our free newsletter. Pick up our free monthly magazine in Sydney and Melbourne. Support independent queer, Australian media. Together, will not be silenced.
– Star Observer Editorial Team