The New Zealand government has been forced to admit it has partner access to Facebook’s controversial censorship portal.
Jacinda Ardern’s government has special access to the portal through which it can directly flag content it does not like – officially known as disinformation - with Facebook administrators.
News of the government’s special arrangement with Facebook came in response to a New Zealand Official Information Act (OIA) request for clarification about the State’s relationship with the social media platform.
The OIA response confirmed the Department of Internal Affairs had access to the portal but “we cannot advise if any other government agency has access to the takedown portal”.
The response did not detail how much content had been removed from Facebook at the request of the government, but it is believed governments regularly request censorship of parody pages, pages questioning Covid vaccine efficacy and so-called election misinformation.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously said that “disinformation” on social media should be regulated like weapons.
The United States is one of the few governments have admitted to accessing Facebook’s takedown portal. Last year The White House admitted the US Surgeon General’s Office was flagging posts for Facebook to censor.