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Advance NZ says they are calling for an inquiry into Facebook’s election interference after the US social media company allegedly unpublished the party’s page two days before the 2020 General Elections.
Co-Leader Billy Te Kahika mentioned 10 hours before the unpublish, on October 14 at 3:42 pm, that his pages will most likely be removed within the next two days.
“Facebook’s decision to unpublish the page of a registered political party in New Zealand, two days before an election, is nothing short of election interference,” said Mr Kahika.
“Advance NZ has been bravely questioning the Government’s approach to COVID-19, sharing the views and advice of international scientists, and standing up to vested interests in New Zealand.”
Mr Kahika said ’30 minutes’ prior to being unpublished he received a message from a New Zealand journalist advising that their pages were being shut down, but did not supply a source of who the journalist works for.
“I could not believe the level of collusion between media channels would be that blatant with a journalist advising us of this news before Facebook told us,” said Mr Kahika.
“This is a cynical example of election interference by an American owned social media outlet that has no business performing any such operation in our sovereign nation.”
Mr Kahika says he is ‘horrified beyond belief’ from the supposed unpublish — anyone can unpublish their pages which means there isn’t complete transparency said by the Co-Leader Billy Te Kahika of Advance NZ.
Facebook’s misinformation policy states that it will remove any claims about Covid-19 that could lead someone to get sick or not seek treatment.
There are around 15,000 content reviewers at Facebook who work to remove any misleading information that breaks the Community Standards.
The Electoral Commission says they were not involved in the decision of the page unpublishing.
“If Facebook wants advertising revenue from New Zealanders, then Facebook must recognise free speech in our nation,” said Mr Kahika.
Accordingly, the Advance NZ / NZPP Facebook page was told to pull controversial advertisements that falsely claimed vaccines are mandatory under New Zealand’s law, which it isn’t.
By coincidence, advertisements were disabled on their page right before the election for being too controversial as the party talks anti-5G, anti-lock-down and anti-vaccines. The party had many warnings beforehand.