Facebook’s virtual monopoly status means it should be required to allow free speech or be banned from operating in Australia, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) has stated. CDP spokesman Lyle Shelton said Facebook was in effect a public information utility and as such should not be allowed to operate in an anti-democratic and partisan manner. “Facebook should not be allowed to interfere with lawful speech in this country,” Mr Shelton said. “If the Morrison government can require Facebook to pay for news content, surely it can require Facebook to allow free speech. By virtue of its market power, Facebook has a responsibility to act in the public interest and it should not be allowed to censor public debate” Mr Shelton said.
“It is chilling that an elected member of the Australian Parliament, Craig Kelly, has had his account suspended, not for inciting hate or violence, but simply for providing information. His posts should be debated, not cancelled” Mr Shelton said. “Cancelling people with whom we disagree is un-Australian and sets an ugly precedent for the future of our Democracy. Freedom of political debate is one of the most precious human rights there is and Big Tech oligarchs should not be allowed to crush this”. Facebook claims Mr Kelly was spreading ‘misinformation’ but doesn’t say if Mr Kelly has breached any laws. Mr Shelton said Mr Kelly was not the only one subject to censorship from Facebook. Mr Shelton had an edition of his YouTube Channel, The Lyle Shelton Show, censored. “I assume it is because I provided analysis of the November 3 US Presidential election.”