TGA asks YouTube, FB to take down ‘misleading’ Palmer ads

Courtney GouldNCA NewsWire
Craig Kelly and Clive Palmer have been repeatedly warned for misleading information. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Camera IconCraig Kelly and Clive Palmer have been repeatedly warned for misleading information. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Australia’s medical regulator has written to Google and Facebook to ask for the removal of “seriously misleading” posts from Clive Palmer’s political party.

In a letter, the boss of the Therapeutic Goods Administration asked the digital giants to remove the content from the United Australia Party, citing their selective use of the regulator’s data on adverse vaccine events.

“As you may be aware, the TGA has expressed concern about material promoted on social media, including YouTube by the United Australia Party which we believe provides a seriously misleading picture of the safety of Covid-19 vaccines and could discourage individuals and their families from becoming vaccinated,” Adjunct Professor John Skerritt wrote.

“Extracts of information have been selectively taken … and have been presented in such a way on social media that many could conclude that the vaccines have been responsible for several hundred deaths in Australia.

CRAIG KELLY WITH CLIVE PALMER
Camera IconCraig Kelly and Clive Palmer have been repeatedly warned for misleading information. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

“Over the last couple of years the TGA has worked successfully with YouTube to remove advertising that allegedly was in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Code, such as promotion of fraudulent products that claimed to treat Covid-19.

“While for the reasons described above, the communications from the UAP do not fit into the category of advertising, I would ask you to consider removing such communications as they undermine Australia‘s vaccination campaign and are not in the public interest.”

Professor Skerritt tabled the letters during a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

The TGA’s request is yet another escalation in the ongoing back and forth between the regulator and the UAP.

Just last month the TGA launched legal action against UAP leader Craig Kelly for unsolicited text messages containing similar misleading information.

The regulator claimed Mr Kelly and Clive Palmer had breached copyright.

“It is alleged that extracts were selectively taken from the Database of Adverse Event Notifications on the TGA website by the United Australia Party and used by the United Australia Party in text messages to members of the public,” the statement said.

In a tweet, Mr Kelly taunted the TGA to “bring it on fellas”.

Mr Kelly’s Facebook page was removed from April for repeated breaches of the social media giant’s misinformation policy.

In June, The TGA wrote to Clive Palmer and regional radio network Grant Broadcasters to express concern over ads that questioned links between the Covid-19 vaccine and deaths.

Originally published as TGA asks YouTube, FB to take down ‘misleading’ Palmer ads

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