Australian Celebrity chef Pete Evans' Facebook page has been permanently removed for repeatedly sharing misinformation about the novel Coronavirus. From COVID-19 to vaccines, the celebrity had shared several fake theories on his page, which used to be followed by almost 1.5 million people.
Earlier, the social media giant had taken down individual posts from Evans for violating Facebook's misinformation policies. But now the Facebook has removed his entire page for "repeated violations" of its policies. Evans posted conspiracy theories about the severity of Coronavirus infection, mask-wearing, and fake claims about the 5G network.
"We don't allow anyone to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or [about] COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts," said Facebook and added that "we have clear policies against this type of content and we've removed Chef Pete Evans' Facebook page for repeated violations of these policies".
Chef Turns into a Conspiracy Theorist
Evans gained popularity after he became the judge for 10 seasons on the Australian cooking show My Kitchen Rules. His verified Instagram profile with 278,000 followers, remains active. However, many fans of the Australian chef expressed frustration against the decision taken by Facebook.
However, his critics have long called on Facebook to restrict Evans' Facebook page, where he had been sharing false claims. Before the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world, many Australian health bodies criticized Evans for sharing claims about diets and cancer cures. A few years ago, the Australian Medical Association accused Evans of endangering lives, as he shared false claims about the benefits of certain minerals and toxins on the sunscreen.
Despite sharing misinformation, Evans continued to gain popularity over the years. This year specifically his following has grown larger. In April 2020 Australian regulators fined his company for selling a A$15,000 light machine which he claimed could cure the "Wuhan coronavirus". Later, Evans also lost several business sponsorships after he shared a meme on social media platforms that featured a neo-Nazi symbol— "black sun". Following the backlash, he offered an apology to those "who misinterpreted" the post.