Press Release 5/10/2020
NZ Outdoors Party considers Suing Facebook for interfering in the NZ Election.
It’s challenging and frustrating being an emerging party battling against the status quo. Many are bored and frustrated about old boys (and girls) politics, but are unaware of the innovative policies offered by emerging parties such as the NZ Outdoors Party. So why don’t people hear more about these alternatives to the red/blue status quo?
“The system is rigged at every level” says Sue Grey co-leader of the NZ Outdoors Party. New parties typically get around 1% of electoral funding, whereas status quo parties, can get around 25% or more. Those in Parliament already have paid MPs, paid support staff, free travel and ready access to the media. Meanwhile candidates for emerging parties are forced to self fund. The Covid election delay has stretched this another month.
The new parties are often turned away from election debates, even by relatively major interest groups. In Nelson FOR EXAMPLE the locally owned Nelson Weekly newspaper, Grey Power and the Chamber of Commerce all decided they preferred a tidy number of candidates to promoting democratic choice.
The Outdoors party is forced to rely on innovation, megaphones and social media to raise awareness about their existence, let alone their policies.
Having decided to allocate its available funding between a couple of radio stations and Facebook- as funds were insufficient for any TV adverts- the Outdoors Party has now been stymied by the government’s new Facebook and social media laws.
The NZ Outdoors Party received an email from Facebook on Friday telling them that their Broadcasting commission facebook advertising was banned for 90 days. No explanation was given except a general comment that Facebook have a right to ban sites that share misinformation.
Outdoors Party co-leader Alan Simmons said “Our site only shows press releases, candidates, policy and news which could hardly be called misinformation.
If a political party cannot advocate for new ideas then it is impossible to use facebook. The ad that triggered the ban appears to be the parties song-video
which showed slides of NZ scenery and way of life, and ends by asking people to visit the party’s website www.outdoorsparty.co.nz. There was nothing contentious in
the music video.
Our Prime Minister was instrumental in Facebook using a programmed machine to “fact check”, which has resulted in the demise of free speech all over Facebook. Numerous politicians worldwide have claimed that Facebook displays political bias and some like Robert F Kennedy Jnr are also suing facebook for the same reasons. I blame our Prime Minister who has worked hard to close down thinking and alternative perspectives.”
“By this action Facebook is now interfering in the NZ general election. The NZ Outdoors Party has consulted lawyers about suing facebook and its fact checker program. and for interfering in democracy” says Alan Simmons. “I totally blame our Prime Minister for encouraging Facebook to shut down free speech. Democracy and free speech should be a fundamental right- not something that is open to political whim” said Alan “and I will be looking to migrate our thousands of members and supporters to another platform.”
Co Leader and emerging issues specialist lawyer Sue Grey is looking forward to holding the system to account for the many inequities which undermine democracy. I had no idea how unjust the system was until I became actively involved this election. We can only wonder who the public would elect if there was a level playing field in terms of media access and funding for all political candidates.” She commented.
As a result of the Facebook ban, the Outdoors Party has had to urgently and belatedly change its campaign, even though voting has already started.
The video that has caused the 90 day ban is at https://youtu.be/c8OsYdPlf8g and our website deemed to be sharing misinformation. www.outdoorsparty.co.nz
Alan Simmons. Co Leader. 0274 980 304 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Grey. Co Leader . 0226910586 email@example.com