Facebook has proudly announced that it’s taken down over seven million coronavirus posts with false or misleading info between April and June. That’s a huge deal for combating dangerous conspiracy theories. Problem is, our own federal Liberal MP and prolific coronavirus poster Craig Kelly appears to be able to keep on posting unabated.
Among the millions of removed posts are those which promoted “fake preventative measures” and “exaggerated cures”, according to Reuters.
That sounds a lot like Hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug being peddled a supposed COVID-19 treatment by Kelly, along with US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Elon Musk, among others. It’s pretty telling company to be in.
Hydroxychloroquine hasn’t been approved for COVID-19 treatment by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Association, or pretty much any other credible group.
It says there’s no evidence that it works, while the potential risks include heart attack, irreversible eye damage, and severe blood sugar depletion which could lead to a coma.
Kelly’s posts typically take the form of highly emotive boomer memes, which rely on discredited studies and amplify extremely dubious voices.
Although Facebook’s announcement relates to April and June, and Kelly appears to have started posting about Hydroxychloroquine in July, there’s still no good reason for his current posts to be live. The implication from Facebook’s announcement is that these measures are ongoing, after all.
In the past week alone, Kelly made 30 posts about how the drug supposedly treats COVID-19, which are still live. That’s 30 posts too many.
Facebook also put warning labels on a further 98 million coronavirus posts in the same period, arguing that they were misleading but not dangerous enough to justify taking down entirely. Thankfully, some of those posts belonged to Kelly.
Facebook uses both human moderators and AI to remove harmful posts which also include hate speech and posts related to terrorism.
Let’s hope they start noticing what’s being posted in our neck of the woods.Image: Getty Images / Tracey Nearmy