Celebrity chef and conspiracy theorist Pete Evans has had his Facebook page permanently removed after he repeatedly breached its misinformation policies with posts about the coronavirus.
A Facebook company spokesperson said the platform does not allow anyone to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm, or misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines that has been debunked by public health experts.
“We have clear policies against this type of content and we’ve removed Chef Pete Evans’ Facebook Page for repeated violations of these policies,” the spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday.
Facebook has previously removed individual posts by Evans for violating its Misinformation & Harm Policy.
Evans posted on Instagram on Wednesday, telling his followers he had been “shut down” on Facebook “for a few days” over his vaccine posts. Facebook says the ban is permanent.
“Hope you are loving the uncensored content we are sharing at evolvenetwork.tv 🦋,” he wrote.
Evans was a judge on My Kitchen Rules between 2010 and 2020. He had more than one million Facebook followers.
Evans has repeatedly made posts opposing COVID-19 vaccines and masks, and claimed in a podcast that the coronavirus is a hoax.
His company was fined more than $25,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in April after he promoted a device called a ‘BioCharger’ on a Facebook live-stream, claiming it could be used in relation to the coronavirus.
The TGA said the claim had “no apparent foundation”.
Facebook says it has deleted Pete Evans’ page for “repeatedly breaching our misinformation policies”
His page appears to be down as of right now, returning a result of “page not found” pic.twitter.com/lucgjVRGl0
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) December 23, 2020
“Pan Macmillan does not support the recent posts made by Pete Evans. Those views are not our views as a company or the views of our staff,” the company said at the time.
Big W, Coles, Dymocks, Kmart and Booktopia were among the retailers to declare they would not sell his products after the post.
Evans later denied he used the symbol intentionally.
Evans’ account on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is still active. Evans regularly uses the account to cast doubt on official information about COVID-19, vaccines, and other parts of mainstream science.
Posts that share misinformation but do not violate the letter of Facebook’s policies usually have their distribution reduced, rather than being removed.