Surprise reaction to Evans’ Facebook ban
Social media has erupted in surprise support of COVID conspiracy theorist Pete Evans after Facebook deleted his account for spreading "misinformation".
The controversial celebrity chef is an outspoken anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist who was posting his unfounded claims daily to his hundreds of thousands of followers.
On Wednesday, Facebook swooped in and booted Evans from the platform citing misinformation surrounding coronavirus violations.
"We don't allow anyone to share misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts. We have clear policies against this type of content and we've removed Chef Pete Evans' Facebook Page for repeated violations of these policies."
While Evans has appeared to respond calmly to the action against him on his Instagram account, some of his biggest critics have slammed the move.
On Twitter many of those who don't support Evans' coronavirus stance have said it goes against his freedom of speech to shut him down.
"Pete Evans is nuts but I don't agree with him being deleted, as it's a form of censorship where do you draw the line of what's acceptable and what's not who's the judge," one person wrote.
"Look I can't stand Pete Evans or his views but I have a problem with this. I believe in free speech our great grandfathers and our grandfathers gave us this right with there blood it's important," another said.
"I am not for Pete Evans or against him, frankly he doesn't take up my thought space from day to day. I am however, very much for free speech and very much against Cancel Culture," someone else added.
While one bloke questioned: "You might not agree with Pete Evans' views on health but why push censoring?"
Many critics fought back, arguing the incorrect medical advise Evans shared needed to be stopped.
"Pete Evans is not a doctor yet he uses his platform to share his opinion on medical issues & health without the duty of care qualified doctors owe to their patients. He is spreading misinformation & people can die if they follow it," one said.
Others suggested Evans doesn't deserve free speech, claiming he regularly deletes comments from medical professionals on his posts and blocks experts who try to debate his views.
"The idea that Pete Evans deserves "free speech" for repeatedly breaching FB's terms of service is laughable, especially as he's blocked thousands of scientists and medical/health professionals, merely for trying improve his understanding," one person wrote on Twitter.
"Also Pete Evans isn't interested in 'Free Speech' he blocks anyone on his Facebook page that disagrees with his philosophies," another said.
Evans responded to Facebook's decision to remove him from the social media account on Instagram Thursday morning where he has an active account with 278,000 followers.
"Watching what happens with section 230 and how the tech companies deal with this in the future will be interesting," he wrote.
"As they say 'Let's see what happens'."
The Facebook ban comes after he told his followers on Wednesday that he had been "shut down" on the platform "for a few days" over his posts.
Last week, the axed Channel 7 presenter said Sydney-siders should not get tested for COVID after the northern beaches outbreak.
One of Evans' biggest controversies came when he posted a cartoon appearing to feature a neo-Nazi symbol recently.
Following the post, Evans was dumped by his publisher Pan Macmillan Australia.
"Pan Macmillan does not support the recent posts made by Pete Evans. Those views are not our views as a company or the views of our staff," the company said at the time.
Shortly after, Big W, Kmart, Coles, Booktopia and Target also cut ties with him, while Dymocks pulled his books off the shelves. He was also dropped as a contestant on I'm A Celebrity Australia.
Evans' company was fined more than $25,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in April after he promoted a device called a 'BioCharger' on Facebook, claiming it could be used in relation to the coronavirus.
The TGA said the claim had "no apparent foundation".
The former My Kitchen Rules judge denied that he used the Nazi symbol intentionally.
Shortly after, the chef vowed he would be quitting Facebook and moving to US conservative social media site Parler to free himself from "being censored".
However, since then Evans has been prolific on Facebook, sometimes posting more than 10 times a day.
Evans' Instagram page is still active. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
Originally published as Surprise reaction to Evans' Facebook ban