Australian MP Craig Kelly has been suspended from Facebook after posting the benefits of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. The outspoken member of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal Party received one week of suspension after a series of posts that contravened the social media platform's community standards.
Craig Kelly posted three links to medical experts' unproven views on novel coronavirus treatments. Despite Scott Morrison publicly distancing himself from Kelly, the member of Hughes still continued to defy conventional medical wisdom through social media posts citing views of antagonistic experts.
Kelly has over 80,000 fans. He said that Facebook deleted three posts and banned him for a week. "I strongly object to the ban, there are absolutely no grounds whatsoever. The points are a legitimate point of view. I'm not posting my opinions, I'm posting the opinions of medical experts," reported The Guardian.
Hughes' southern Sydney seat MP arrived at the prime minister's workplace this February. He was commanded to follow the government's fitness recommendation upon participating in a podcast with famous anti-vaccination leader Pete Evans, reported Famous News.
Alternative coronavirus treatments, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin were indicated on Kelly's page. Facebook also took down a post in which Kelly posted an opinion from a pathologist that "paper and fabric masks are simply virtue signalling."
He has faced strong denouncement from media and political opponents for posting information on the anti-malarial drug. Kelly then remarked the ban was a "dark day for freedom of speech." He added it would not stop him from showing support of early treatment drug options.
According to Kelly, "I hope this (Facebook) ban is temporary. They went through thousands of my posts and only found five that led to the ban. 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," reported The Epoch Times.
In one Facebook post, he compared children having to wear masks to child abuse. The five posts that Kelly said got him banned featured unproven claims about a profile of professor Thomas Borody which included the promotion of ivermectin to treat coronavirus and hydroxychloroquine by professor Dolores Cahill. There were also claims by pathologist Roger Hodkinson that masks are "useless" for children.
Kelly suggested such views were topics worthy of discussion.
Facebook responded that the social media giant does not allow anyone to share misinformation about COVID-19, potentially leading to physical harm. "We have clear policies against this type of content and will remove it when we become aware of it."
Kelly's bout with Facebook has already resulted in warning labels being affixed to his posts.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison privately reprimanded him after he countered Labor MP Tanya Plibersek the previous week over alternative vaccine treatments.