Prominent Covid-19 conspiracy influencer Chantelle Baker, who was a mainstay of the anti-Government protest at Parliament earlier this year, has lost her Facebook page ahead of this week's planned repeat protest.
The social media behemoth issued the ban yesterday , Baker confirmed on another Facebook page she runs that isn't under her own name.
"We're gone but we're not out - not quite yet," she told the other page's roughly 7600 followers in a live video about an hour after receiving the news.
The now-defunct page under her name had garnered about 97,000 followers.
Baker, the daughter of former New Conservatives leader Leighton Baker, is one of the public faces of the anti-vaccine and conspiracy movement in New Zealand. She has said she intends to attend the Parliament protest on Tuesday.
A recent report by independent research group The Disinformation Project noted that Baker's Facebook Live broadcasts - although a "super spreader" of false claims - often had greater engagement than mainstream media during the previous Parliament protest.
She suggested, incorrectly, that Antifa was behind the fires and violence on March 3 when the protest was broken up. Since then, she has posted in support of Russia's war in Ukraine and continued to share information in conflict with public health advice.
In May, the Herald asked Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, about disinformation from the Parliament protest and about Baker's incorrect content in particular. The company declined to comment directly on Baker or her page.
"Like the rest of New Zealand, we were shocked at the violent events outside Parliament earlier this year," responded Nick McDonnell, Meta's head of public policy for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, one month after the request for comment.
"Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we have taken aggressive steps to limit harmful misinformation by removing content, sharing content with independent fact checkers for review, and banning accounts for repeated violation of our policies. We also have connected Kiwis to reliable sources of information including the Ministry of Health, Unite Against Covid-19, Ministry for Pacific Peoples and Te Puni Kōkiri."
Baker has listed her new Facebook page as a "media/news company" and has said her live streams showed "what was actually going on behind the scenes" at the previous protest.
Others on social media, however, celebrated Facebook's decision to delete the page.
"That's 97k followers free from the influence of that parasite, what a day to be alive!" one critic wrote, while another described her as "Pity Party Princess Alt-Right Barbie" and encouraged people to report her new page for misinformation.
Tuesday's protest in Wellington, organised by The Freedoms and Rights Coalition, follows similar events in Auckland and Christchurch recently. A counter-protest group is also expected to gather near Parliament.
It comes almost six months on from the 23-day anti-mandate occupation at Parliament that was brought to a violent and fiery end.
Road closures are expected to be put in place starting tonight at the Parliament end of Lambton Quay, lower Molesworth St and Kate Sheppard Place. A police spokesperson has said unauthorised vehicles would be restricted in the area from tonight until the end of the protest.