Celebrity chef Pete Evans has had his Facebook page removed after he repeatedly shared misinformation about the Covid-19 virus and vaccines.
Evans had around 1.5 million Facebook followers, and would post conspiracy theories which have been debunked by medical experts.
What did Evans say?
The Australian chef published a range of posts about the severity of the virus, mask wearing, and vaccines. He also posted incorrect information about 5G networks.
In his podcast, Evans repeatedly made claims that the coronavirus pandemic was a hoax.
The chef posted over 200 times on Facebook in December, sharing anti-vaccine and anti-mask content, as well as urging Sydney residents not to get tested amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Content from his page was repeatedly removed or labelled as untrue by Facebook’s third party fact checking partners.
What has Facebook said?
A Facebook spokesperson said, “We have clear policies against this type of content and we’ve removed chef Pete Evans’ Facebook page for repeated violations of these policies.”
Previously, Facebook had removed just individual posts from Evans’ page for violating its misinformation and harm policies, but now this has escalated into his page being permanently deleted.
“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 experts,” the social media platform said.
The chef’s Instagram account, which is also owned by Facebook, remains active.
Back in April, Evans’ company was fined more than $25,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration after he promoted an item called a BioCharger on a Facebook live session, claiming it could be used to cure, what he called, the “Wuhan coronavirus.”
The TGA said the claim had “no apparent foundation.”
In November, Evans also garnered backlash after posting a cartoon on social media that featured a neo-Nazi symbol.
The now deleted post showed a cartoon of a caterpillar wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap talking to a black butterfly with a black sun symbol on its wing.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) explains that the black sun symbol is also known as “the sonnenrad or sunwheel,” and says that it is “one of a number of ancient European symbols appropriated by Nazis.”
“In Nazi Germany, the Nazi Party, the SA and the SS all used sonnenrad symbology at times, which has led neo-Nazis and other modern white supremacists to adopt such images,” the ADL says.
After posting the cartoon, a number of businesses and retailers cut ties with Evans, including Woolworths Group, publisher Pan Macmillan and kitchenware brand Baccarat, which had a range of products with Evans’ name on them.
Initially, Evans claimed that he knew what the symbol meant, but eventually backtracked to state that he actually was unaware of its meaning.
Who is Pete Evans?
Evans is an Australian celebrity chef, best known for being a judge for 10 seasons on the cooking show My Kitchen Rules.
In 2017, Evans produced and narrated a documentary on Netflix called The Magical Pill, which claimed that the keto diet could help manage cancer.
Evans has also written a number of books, including Easy Keto (2019), Healthy Every Day (2014) and My Kitchen (2011).