Australian MP George Christensen’s anti-lockdown speech was removed by Facebook for violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Governments across Australia are inflicting extreme lockdowns on citizens, with the nation’s capital city, Canberra, going into strict lockdown in the last 24 hours after only one case of COVID-19 was detected.
On Tuesday, Christensen was at the center of controversy after he told the Australian parliament that lockdowns and masks were not effective in stopping the virus.
“When will the madness end? How many more freedoms will we lose due to fear of a virus, which has a survivability rate of 997 out of 1,000,’’ Christensen said.
“It’s time we stopped spreading fear and acknowledge some facts: masks do not work. Fact. It has been proven that masks make no significant difference in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“Lockdowns don’t work. Fact. Lockdowns don’t destroy the virus but they do destroy people’s livelihoods and people’s lives. Studies have shown they can even increase mortality rates.”
Christensen posted his speech in parliament on Facebook. The video was swiftly removed by the social media platform for containing “harmful health information,” that violated the policies on COVID-19 misinformation.
Christensen criticized the platform, claiming it censored his “speech calling for freedom.”
Christensen’s speech was criticized by other legislators and even Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Although the PM did not directly mention Christensen in his speech, he said that the government did not condone “misinformation” “in any way, shape, or form.”
In an appearance on 2GB Radio on Wednesday, Christensen defended his remarks, arguing that at some point we would have to “live with” the coronavirus.
He acknowledged that in some situations a lockdown is necessary “for an extremely short period of time,” but noted that lockdowns harm the community more than they help.