Former Liberal MP Craig Kelly has been stripped of a controversial Facebook page, with the social media giant accusing him of breaching its misinformation policies.
- Craig Kelly had one of the most high-profile federal politician Facebook pages
- Facebook says he has repeatedly violated its misinformation policies
- Mr Kelly has taken aim at the company, while retaining access to a second Facebook page
Mr Kelly quit the Liberal Party to sit on the crossbench earlier this year after facing backlash from the Prime Minister and health experts for the content he was posting on his Facebook page about COVID-19 vaccines.
While he has lost access to his most high-profile page, Mr Kelly has told the ABC he still retained access to a second Facebook page.
He took aim at the company, accusing it of having “burnt and torched and incinerated and obliterated” his page, a move he compared to “burning books” to censor him.
But a Facebook spokesperson said Mr Kelly had repeatedly violated the site’s policies.
“We don’t allow anyone, including elected officials, to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts,” the spokesperson said.
“We have clear policies against this type of content and have removed Mr Kelly’s Facebook Page for repeated violations of this policy.”
Mr Kelly attacked the decision as “censorship”, saying Facebook informed him by text message on Monday morning.
“This was the most popular, highly used political Facebook page in the country,” he said.
“They have basically burnt and torched and incinerated and obliterated from the record, previous comments and previous things that I’d made.”
Mr Kelly has backed COVID-19 treatments against the advice of Australia’s medical authorities and previously shared claims that forcing children to wear masks was a form of child abuse.
He also appeared on a podcast where he was interviewed by anti-vaccination campaigner Pete Evans.
Mr Kelly denied he was spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
“It is not misinformation if you have a difference of opinion,” he said.
“The idea that they are some purveyors of all truth is just absolutely outrageous.”
The crossbench MP described his second page as a “parliamentary page”, while the now-removed page was one he posted on regularly.
“It’s a violation of the principles of free speech and quite frankly I’m absolutely outraged by it,” Mr Kelly said.
“These people are the heirs to those who used to go around burning books because that is effectively what they have done.”
Labor and the Greens have repeatedly criticised the government for failing to intervene with Mr Kelly’s posts sooner.
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek clashed with Mr Kelly in a Parliament House corridor, where she accused him of spreading conspiracy theories.