The Age, 23 Oct 2023.
You’d think a political operation would have to be fairly extreme to have its ads rejected by Facebook, the social networking giant which, let’s face it, has never been too choosy about such things.
So the mild-mannered men and women of Victoria’s Legalise Cannabis Party, which had two candidates elected to state parliament’s upper house last year, were left perplexed and confused – and not because of the bongs – when Facebook’s parent company, Meta, refused to publish the party’s ads.
After getting no joy out of Meta, MP Rachel Payne even appealed to the Victorian Electoral Commission to intervene in what the party alleges is a blatant case of censorship of political expression.
“My colleagues and myself are being unfairly treated and discriminated against through Meta’s refusal to allow us to advertise, post stories about our party [and] even hiding our pages so that people cannot find us through searches,” Payne pleaded.
The commission politely declined to get involved, saying this wasn’t its jurisdiction, it had no authority over “the policies, procedures, or algorithms of social media platforms or companies” and it couldn’t advocate for a political party.
We approached Meta’s comms people, several times actually, but we got no joy out of them either. “
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