A Canadian candidate for political office who is currently running for a seat in parliament has been suspended by Facebook, most likely for posts critical of the country’s COVID policy.
Facebook cited five posts published over the past year as the reason, and one of them, Marc Emery took aim at what he called “the evil Covid dictatorship.”
The ban – which will last as long as his campaign and thus cut him off from communicating with his potential voters on the world’s largest social media site – came because Facebook found the posts to violate its community standards on “hate speech.”
Emery, who is a libertarian and a candidate of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC), is also an activist and entrepreneur who is known as “prince of pot” for his previous activism to legalize cannabis, and who has run for various offices in the past.
It was precisely the government’s response to the pandemic and the way many Canadians are accepting the sometimes draconian restrictions that inspired Emery to return to politics.
Among the posts that Facebook said contained hate speech is one featuring photos of a takeout bag from a restaurant ruined by lockdowns. Emery linked the shutting down of the restaurant with Canadians being “soft, weak, unprincipled” and “virtually begging for this dictatorship because of hysteria, propaganda, lies and manipulation.”
In the same post, he accused what he said was “the hysterical and evil Covid dictatorship” for destroying businesses every day, something he added was a tyranny happening at all levels of government.
The rest of the posts marked as “hate speech” show what is said to be marijuana that Emery bought legally, and one of cannabis samples he received as a gift.