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Family shattered as Facebook ban halts tribute to Hannah

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An entire agonising year has passed since Sue and Lloyd Clarke lost their daughter and three grandchildren in the most horrific way.

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But Facebook has blighted plans for a nationwide tribute for the slain family, leaving them pleading for a resolution.

February 19 marks the anniversary of Rowan Baxter’s abominable ambush of his wife Hannah Clarke, and their children Aaliyah, six, Laianah, four, and three-year-old Trey.

The Brisbane woman had bundled the kids into the car for the morning school run, but Baxter stopped them, poured petrol on their car and set it on fire.

The Clarkes had hoped to mark the anniversary by watching photos roll in on Facebook as Australians lit candles in memory of Hannah and the kids.

But Facebook’s snap ban on Australian news has also blocked content from dozens of sites that have nothing to do with news, including Small Steps 4 Hannah.

The Clarkes are devastated and have appealed for immediate action so Friday’s sunset candle tribute can still have a presence on the platform.

“It’s very upsetting. It’s very, very disappointing,” Mrs Clarke has told reporters.

Small Steps 4 Hannah has urged Australians who want to be part of the tribute to share their photos via Instagram.

“We can only assume this is a technical mix-up, and we have asked Facebook to reinstate our page as soon as possible,” a spokesman told AAP.

“We want to halt domestic violence, and we are sure that Facebook would support that.”

Domestic violence help services, including Brisbane’s Centre Against Domestic Abuse, have also been caught up by Facebook’s news ban, along with health departments, and emergency services.

“We’ve lost nine years of posts. They’re all gone,” a spokeswoman told AAP.

“A Facebook presence is essential for us. It is where our clients go to look for information, particularly in their own community. It’s imperative that we can offer our clients that support.”

The centre has reported the issue to Facebook but had not received a reply as of Thursday afternoon.

In parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison remembered Hannah and her children and the “unspeakable, unthinkable” crime that ended their lives.

“We must do all we can to support those suffering from family violence. Hannah we … thank you and we will never forget,” Morrison said.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese added: “We cannot be bystanders, not now, not ever. Let us be guided every day by their memory and let them never fade.”

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