Facebook close political party’s page due to general election in New Zealand

Facebook shut down the page of conspiracy-embracing political party Advance New Zealand on October 15 just two days out from a general election, accusing it of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

The action against a registered political party in the midst of an election campaign is unprecedented in New Zealand and comes as Facebook shows an increased willingness to act against false claims made on the social media giant. ‘We don’t allow anyone to share misinformation on our platforms about Covid-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm,’ a Facebook spokesperson told AFP, accusing Advance New Zealand of ‘repeated violations’ of that policy.

Advance NZ co-leader Billy Te Kahika said the takedown occurred while he was addressing followers online, accusing Facebook of meddling in Saturday’s vote. Addressing its move against Advance New Zealand, it said policies on coronavirus misinformation would be enforced ‘regardless of anyone’s political position or party affiliation’.

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