Westpac in Facebook Crackdown - WESTPAC is censoring criticism on social media sites amid growing public fury over its decision to retrench staff and raise interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Negative comments posted on Westpac in Facebook page over the past week have been deleted within minutes, which has prompted accusations of a ''propaganda campaign'' by the bank.
But Westpac has defended the practice, claiming that ''partisan views'' could deter customers from researching its financial products on social media sites.
Last weekend, several bank workers posted comments that questioned Westpac management's decision to shed hundreds of staff after posting a record profit of $6.3 billion for the year to September 2011. ''All I said on my post was that the government guaranteed that Australian banks had been supported at the height of the global financial crisis and I think they have a responsibility to keep people in jobs, '' a worker told The Sun-Herald.
Similar comments by other bank employees were also deleted from Westpac's Facebook page on Monday, after the retrenchment was raised on ABC program Q&A.