The organisers of a pro-cannabis mini-music festival set to take place this Sunday in Sydney’s Victoria Park claim Facebook have censored their event, even alleging that NSW Police may be behind the deletion of their popular Facebook event page.
Free Cannabis NSW announced their Free Cannabis Picnic shortly after their inaugural picnic event concluded back in April. A few thousand people subsequently RSVP’d to the event, which features a lineup of bands, comedians, a food menu, and competitions.
But according to a spokesperson for Free Cannabis NSW, the popular event page for the picnic was suddenly taken down last night over claims it violated Facebook’s terms of service. Organisers weren’t given any further information.
“I contacted Facebook’s PR people, N2N Communcations, here in Sydney via email this morning,” the spokesperson told Tone Deaf. “Then Chris, the organiser of the festival, contacted Facebook and had a telephone conversation and wrote a follow-up email.”
“We’re waiting now to see if they reinstate the event… with all the 1,500 people coming and 3,000 people interested. The timing of it all is very suspicious, because the event has been up for two months, literally since our last picnic in April.”
“That event wasn’t deleted off of Facebook and we had about 1,000 people say they were coming, about 250 actually ended up attending.” There’s now suspicions a member of the NSW Police force may have filed a complaint with Facebook about the event.
“Four days before this event, without any information or communication, they decided to delete it and I sincerely think it has to do with someone complaining, perhaps from NSW Police or the community, who doesn’t like cannabis,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ve got other picnic events for other states, like one in Brisbane on 18th June, and that Facebook event is still up. They’ve simply deleted the biggest one and that’s going to be the kind of historic one.”
“I think police are getting a bit angry about the kind of success we’re getting and the wide community support, because people of all ages and genders, people with cancer, with medical needs, and just recreational smokers are gathering together.”
According to the spokesperson, Facebook have subsequently claimed that “it was a mistake to pull down the page and that they are trying to reinstate it with all the people who were attending re-connected to it”, though the page remains offline.
Tone Deaf have reached out to Facebook’s Australian PR representatives for comment.
Free Cannabis NSW Picnic
Sunday, 5th June 2016
Victoria Park, Sydney