Facebook announced on Thursday that it closed the AdvanceNZ party page, two days before the New Zealand general elections, accusing the formation of promoting disinformation about the pandemic with conspiracy theories.
“We do not authorize anyone to share disinformation about covid-19 on our platform that could cause imminent physical damage,” a spokesman for the social network explained to AFP.
“We have closed the ‘Advance New Zealand / New Zealand Public Party’ Facebook page for repeated violations of that policy.”
The decision was condemned by the party’s founder, Billy Te Kahika, who accused Facebook of interference in the electoral process.
“Facebook has officially meddled in the 2020 New Zealand elections,” he said in a video posted on his personal Facebook account.
“They’ve done it in the middle of a show and it’s amazing, guys. It’s extraordinary […]They have finally carried out their threats, “he declared.
Former blues guitarist, Billy TK, as he is also known, is running as a candidate for deputy in the legislative elections on Saturday.
He quickly established himself as a leading figure in the New Zealand conspiracy movement and regularly posts content on social media with snippets of conspiracy theories.
In his speech, he usually defends the idea of the existence of a “deep state” and affirms that the health crisis would have been manufactured by governments to control the population.
On Thursday, he accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of being behind Facebook’s decision.
“We are neither in North Korea nor in China, but nevertheless that is the impression that the government gives,” he said.
ns-ttf-arb / jac / fby / jvb / zm