Facebook removes Advance NZ party's page for violating policies

The Facebook page for political party Advance NZ has been removed by the social media platform for violating its policies.

The controversial party ran in the 2020 election under the leadership of Jami-Lee Ross and Billy Te Kahika Jr and was notorious for pushing COVID-19 conspiracy theories and other misinformation.

"When we remove Pages for violating our policies, we don't allow them to circumvent this by creating new Facebook Pages. We have removed Advance New Zealand Party's Facebook Page for violating this policy," a Facebook company spokesperson told Newshub.

After not winning any seats in the election, Te Kahika Jr split from Advance NZ in late 2020.

His alliance with Ross came after he gathered a large social media following with his New Zealand Public Party (NZPP).

That group's Facebook page was removed by the company for breaching its misinformation and harm policies.

Advance NZ's page has since been reviewed by Facebook and found to be in breach of its recidivism policies.

Facebook didn't cite a specific post that Advance NZ has published that broke its rules, but said it does remove pages by rule-breakers who just go and set up another similar page, even if the new one hasn't broken rules.

To enforce that policy, Facebook says it looks at many factors including who administers the pages and if it has a similar name to the previously removed one.

Te Kahika Jr, a blues musician, made outlandish claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" in a Facebook video he posted in October.

In the same video he also claimed the New Zealand Government was "corrupt" and "not real".

NZPP's policies included a promise to investigate any UN agendas and look into the use of 1080 and 5G technology.