Unliked: Facebook spared

BAYSWATER councillors will also have to declare membership of local clubs or associations under Cr Cornish’s transparency reforms.

But there was great controversy when he tried to extend that to their involvement in social media groups such as Facebook.

Cr Elli Petersen-Pik said Facebook was a great tool that could be used to reach a large number of ratepayers quickly, but he’d seen it used to manipulate views.

“People should know if a councillor manages a specific community Facebook page as it might be used for self-promotion or the promotion of others as a favour,” Cr Petersen-Pik said.

“Most of the time people are not even aware who really runs those pages.”

Cr Petersen-Pik suggested councillors shouldn’t run community groups’ social media pages, but this was met with a sprinkle of laughter in the chamber.

Cr Lorna Clarke was the strongest opponent of both the social media and political allegiances registers.

“This has gotten so ridiculous … we have gone down the rabbit hole,” she said, comparing the measures to McCarthyism.

Cr Clarke said elected members disclosed relevant interests at the start of meetings, and the city risked putting off potential councillors with extra red tape and risks.

Only Crs Cornish, Bull, Petersen-Pik and Sally Palmer supported the social media register.

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