Facebook labels New Zealand news story on Te Pāti Māori as “spam”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 12, 2024 |
Smartphone censored
Smartphone censored

Facebook owner Meta has allegedly censored New Zealand news stories related to Te Pāti Māori allegations.

On Friday, Chris Lynch Media posted an article on Te Pāti Māori, reporting a press release from Acting Public Service Commissioner Heather Baggott, who said that action was underway to “ensure the serious allegations involving the misuse of personal data during last year’s general election are thoroughly investigated.”

The article included the full response by Te Pāti Māori president John Tamihere, along with his comments to the journalist who broke the story.

In an automated response, Meta labeled the article as “spam.”

Other social media users reported that when they posted the article on their personal Facebook accounts, it was quickly deleted from their pages.

Minister for Media and Communications Paul Goldsmith wouldn’t comment other than saying  “those are operational matters for Facebook to speak to.”

An Auckland based organisation tried to post the news story on their Facebook page and in their group pages.

“Both (were) removed by Facebook in less than a minute without any status notification at all” the organisation said.

“Obviously someone with their finger on the trigger has loaded the link into the FB censor algorithm because it’s too quick for a manual deletion.”

Facebook notification / Supplied by a Chris Lynch Media reader.

Facebook notification / Supplied by a Chris Lynch Media reader.

A Meta support representative confirmed, “Upon checking on our end, the story was legitimate. This might be a technical issue with Facebook as we reviewed your page using our backend tools to check.”

The support desk operator, based in Manila,  said they had thoroughly checked the account to determine if spam had been flagged by Facebook.

They confirmed that this was not the issue, no violation had been found, and the account’s status remained strong.

The operator suggested that a bug might have affected Facebook or that a complaint could have been lodged against the article.

However, they emphasised that if a complaint had been made, the account would have been flagged, which it was not.

In a stark contradiction, Facebook continues to allow sponsored fake news stories about Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her husband to flood newsfeeds unchecked.

In other words, Meta profits from posting fake news.

Fake news appearing on Facebook isn't deleted

Fake news appearing on Facebook isn’t deleted

Chris Lynch Media, an independent news platform operating from Christchurch, New Zealand, reached a significant milestone in August last year by securing a 100 percent trust rating from international watchdog NewsGuard.

This achievement positions it ahead of competitors like RNZ and Stuff in online news trustworthiness.

Chris Lynch Media has recently updated its website and is encouraging Facebook readers to head to chrislynchmedia.com for their daily dose of breaking news and local stories produced from Christchurch.

Facebook has at least two employees in Auckland, both whom didn’t respond to questions by Chris Lynch Media.


Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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