Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would make MPs delete fake news tweets

The Prime Minister says she would order one of her MPs to take down a tweet if it involved fake news.

Not so for Simon Bridges, who isn't forcing Judith Collins to delete a tweet from a well-known fake news site.

While the row rages on in New Zealand, global internet giants are clamping down on the phenomenon.

Alex Jones of Infowars is one of the most prominent - and unhinged - conspiracy theorists operating today.

A huge fan of US President Donald Trump, who once appeared on his show, Jones believes in satanic conspiracies and was a proponent of 'Pizzagate' - the lie that Hillary Clinton ran a paedophile ring out of a pizza shop.

He's now been banned from Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify for hate speech, but hasn't been banned from Twitter, of which Ms Collins is a big fan.

"I find Twitter a great way of not only getting information but sharing information," she told Newshub.

It was Twitter that she used on Monday to challenge Jacinda Ardern, linking to a website famous for its fake news - a term Collins wants no part of.

"I've never used the term to people and I've never used it about websites," she says. "If anyone wants to go back and check, I don't think I've ever called any stories or anybody fake news."

In February Ms Collins called a Newshub article "total fake news" on Twitter.

Prime Minister Ardern says political leaders have to be careful online.

"We need politicians to make sure that we maintain a standard, that we don't disseminate misinformation."

The site Ms Collins cited spins some bizarre yarns about celebrities, but Mr Bridges won't ask her to remove the tweet.

"I think that's pointless," he told Newshub.

Ms Ardern disagreed, and was quick to say that she'd demand any of her MPs who did the same to take the post down.

"I see no point in doing that," Mr Bridges says. "Once you tweet it's there for eternity."

Tweets may be forever but taking it down would arguably be a gesture, both to show contrition and to demonstrate an unwillingness to promote fake news.