Australia

Pete Evans removed from Facebook for repeatedly sharing coronavirus misinformation


Facebook says it has removed Pete Evans’ page on the platform for repeatedly breaching its misinformation policies around COVID-19.

The celebrity chef has repeatedly posted COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation along with anti-vaccination and anti-mask content to various social media channels during the pandemic. 

Book publisher Pan MacMillan was also among several brands and companies to sever ties with Evans last month after he shared a cartoon on Facebook that included a symbol associated with neo-Nazis.

On Wednesday night, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the ‘Chef Pete Evans’ page had been removed from the platform.

“We don’t allow anyone 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,” they said in a statement. 

“We have clear policies against this type of content and we’ve removed Chef Pete Evans’ Facebook Page for repeated violations of these policies.”

Facebook has previously removed individual posts by Evans for violating its Misinformation & Harm Policy. 

Evans was a judge on cooking show My Kitchen Rules between 2010 and 2020, and had over one million Facebook followers. 

His company was fined more than $25,000 by the Therapeautic Goods Administration (TGA) in April for promoting a device which he claimed in a Facebook live stream could be used to cure COVID-19. 

Evans has since used his platforms to share conspirary theories and misinformation. Earlier this week, News Corp reported the celebrity chef urged residents in Sydney’s Northern Beaches not to get tested for COVID-19 amid a new outbreak in the area. 

He has also delved into theories promoted by the unsubstantiated far-right movement, QAnon, reportedly appearing to direct baseless accusations of paedophilia towards CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. 

Last month, Evans he would be quitting Facebook and moving to US social media website Parler to free himself from “being censored”.

But he reportedly continued to share posts more than 200 times on the platform throughout December. 

Evans has not yet spoken publicly about the action taken by Facebook.

On Wednesday, he shared a quote with his 278,000 Instagram followers which read, “The highest form of wealth is the ablity to wake up every morning and say, ‘I can do whatever I want today'”. 

As of Wednesday night, his Instagram account is active. 

With AAP. 

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