Katter’s Australia Party Senator Fraser Anning’s Facebook page has been reinstated after it was “unpublished” by the social media giant.
On Friday, the Queensland Senator’s page and all of his posts was removed from public view on the platform, and media reports on Friday evening indicated it was in part the result of users reporting the Queensland Senator’s recent Senate speech attacking the Safe Schools program.
In the homophobic and transphobic speech, Anning described the LGBTIQ anti-bullying program as “child abuse” and “deviant sexual propaganda” by “communist perverts,” and gender diversity as a “sinister lie”.
Senator Anning also had published a series of posts and videos to his Facebook page calling for a ban on Muslim migration to Australia.
He took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to post a screenshot from Facebook telling him he had been “unpublished” because “recent activity on your Page doesn’t follow the Facebook Pages Terms.”
“Facebook has just taken the unprecedented step in unpublishing a Commonwealth Politicians page,” he tweeted.
“Free speech is under attack, and communication is being regulated by foreign companies with tendencies of political bias. This is completely unacceptable and we will fight this.”
But on Saturday he announced on Twitter his page had returned.
Facebook has just taken the unprecedented step in unpublishing a Commonwealth Politicians page. Free speech is under attack, and communication is being regulated by foreign companies with tendencies of political bias. This is completely unacceptable and we will fight this. pic.twitter.com/J81lkECREP
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) September 28, 2018
Facebook’s policies on hate speech
According to its policies, Facebook defines hate speech as “a direct attack on people based on … protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability.”
The platform says it also provides “some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”
One Facebook user told the Brisbane Times that she reported the video of the Safe Schools speech and was told by Facebook on Friday that Anning’s Page did violate Facebook’s Community Standards and had been removed.
“I reported [the video] as hate speech because none of it was factually correct, just based on his uneducated prejudices as well as the fact that it’s preaching hate against a very vulnerable group of people,” she said.
In a statement, Senator Anning said the move was an “attack on democracy”.
“In shutting down my Facebook page, a foreign corporation isn’t just shutting down free speech it is attacking Australian Democracy,” he said.
“Supressing [sic] someone’s view or opinion just because you may disagree with them amounts to nothing more than rank socialism.”
Anning was widely criticised for referring in his maiden speech to a “final solution” for the “Muslim immigration problem,” invoking the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.