Facebook Temporarily Bans Australian Lawmaker From Posting

Facebook issued a week-long ban on Australian lawmaker Craig Kelly, citing repeated violations of its rules against coronavirus misinformation.

The story: MP Kelly, who’s a member of Australia’s ruling party, announced Facebook’s ban this week. He told Guardian Australia that the company took down three of his posts, which they said violated the platform’s community standards.

He explained to Gizmodo that Facebook gave him “four strikes” against Facebook’s misinformation and harm policy.

Why? According to Kelly, the posts in question linked to claims from medical experts who spoke about the treatment of coronavirus infections.

One post pointed to professor Dolores Cahill, who advocated for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients and another promoted a profile of professor Thomas Borody in The Spectator Australia, who spoke in favor of treating coronavirus infections with ivermectin.

The third post linked to assertions from pathologist Roger Hodkinson that masks are “useless” for children and “paper and fabric masks are simply virtue signaling.”

Kelly criticized Facebook’s move, describing it as “censorship.”

“I strongly object to the ban, there are absolutely no grounds whatsoever,” Kelly told Guardian Australia. “The points are a legitimate point of view. I’m not posting my opinions, I’m posting the opinions of medical experts.”

He added that “whether [the views are] right or wrong is a matter of debate, but their views should be debated.”

“I hope this ban is temporary. They went through thousands of my posts and only found five that led to the ban,” he continued. “I support the government message on vaccinations. I am advocating for treatments in concert with the vaccine … Three of the posts that were banned weren’t even my opinions. They were quotes from highly credentialed scientists. You might not agree with them, but the public have a right to know about these scientists’ views and people can rebut them.”

Facebook said in a statement that the company does not “allow anyone to share misinformation about Covid-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm. We have clear policies against this type of content and will remove it when we become aware of it.”

How we got here: Facebook has been cracking down on coronavirus-related misinformation since the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout last year, the company had updated its rules multiple times to ensure that it does not contribute to any disinformation campaign.

Last week, it stepped up the restrictions again, saying that users are no longer allowed to say that masks are ineffective at preventing the spread of the virus or that social distancing does not work, among other things.

You’re not crazy and we’re not insane. Come back to LaCorte News to get the news unspun.

The post Facebook Temporarily Bans Australian Lawmaker From Posting appeared first on LaCorte News.

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Author: Penka Arsova

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