Facebook deleted all of our posts encouraging submissions

As I write this I still can't believe this has happened to us. We hear of political interference happening overseas, but today Hobson's Pledge has been the target.

Facebook has deleted all of our posts that sent supporters to submit on the Fast Track Approvals Bill including paid advertising we were running. 

At first our team thought there must have been an error and attempted to post again. It became clear that anytime we used the link to the Government website to make a submission on the Bill, Facebook either blocked us or removed the post minutes after it went up.

As we were aware that the Māori Party were also promoting submitting on the Bill, we checked out one of their posts and found that there we could access the Government submissions page with no problem at all. 

This is discrimination and political interference. Will you stand with us against it?

For a start Facebook should not be able to block links to the Government website and impede democratic engagement.

They certainly shouldn't be able to pick and choosewhich organisation can help their supporters to access the submissions page.

It is nearly impossible to reach an actual person at Facebook to ask what on earth is going on.

Are they taking stances on all political issues? Or is this something an individual staff member has taken it upon themselves to do? Maybe it is simply that their systems are vulnerable to bad faith activists overwhelming them?

We would love to know. 

We will be doing our best to follow up and ensure that this kind of thing doesn't continue to happen.

Every New Zealander should be free to encourage submissions and indeed to submit. We would never dream of attempting to prevent Māori Party supporters from having their say. We live in a democracy!

Don't let political interference get in the way of you having your say on the Fast Track Approvals Bill and opposing special rights for iwi when it comes to consultation and decision making.


I cannot overstate how much of a political intrusion this is. Hobson's Pledge already experiences significant hostility from the media and we use emails and social media as a way to go around the patronising so-called fourth estate to reach New Zealanders.

For our ability to use social media to be threatened is truly concerning. In today's online world, it is an attack on our right to freely engage in politics. 

I will keep you updated on where this goes. If there is any action we can all take, you can expect an email straight away.