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Editorial: Staying reliable online

Earlier this week, those who were seeking information from the Lawrence County Health Department on Facebook hit a temporary obstruction.

For about a day, the department’s Facebook page had disappeared online, along with it all of the statistics and information posted surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was through no fault of the department, as the page had been hit by a Facebook error that disabled it. But, working with the Ohio Department of Health, they were able to get it back online, with its information intact.

This incident serves as a warning for all government agencies, businesses and organizations to not become too dependent on Facebook as a primary outlet for information.

While it is far more instantaneous and makes it easier to reach the masses, the fact remains that it is a third party through which they do not fully control and, as a result, they can be subject to glitches or flaggings that may or not be justified.

Using social media is a great tool to distribute information and promote content (The Ironton Tribune maintains pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), it should not be the focus of an online presence for any group.

We strongly encourage all to invest heavily in keeping up their own websites as extensively as possible so that their web presence remains fully in their organization’s control and is not under threat of information being cut off by a company well out of the region.