Plaid Cymru, a center-left political party in Wales, suspended a councilor over social media posts related to the coronavirus that Facebook flagged as misinformation. Gwlad, a pro-Independence political party with no known links to the councilman, blasted Plaid, calling the suspension suppressing free speech.
Earlier this week Plaid Cymru suspended Gruffydd Williams, the councilor of Nefyn Ward in Gwynedd County. The party suspended the ward representative over Facebook posts related to COVID-19 that the social media giant labeled as misinformation.
The party said spreading information that can “endanger public health must be avoided at all cost.” It added that there was “no room for misinformation” in society and stressed everyone’s need to protect the NHS.
“Everyone has a responsibility to protect the NHS, and elected representatives, in particular, have an important role to play in this regard.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Plaid Cymru’s sole focus has been on protecting lives and livelihoods, and the roll-out of the vaccine offers hope of better times ahead.
“There is no place for misinformation in Plaid Cymru or in wider society,” said a spokesperson for the party.
Gwlad, a pro-independence political party, hit back at Plaid, saying that Councilor Williams was providing his constituents with a differing opinion so they can investigate the truth on their own instead of “just swallowing all the media propaganda.”
Gwlad, which has no known links to Williams, added that the suspensions “reflect badly” on Plaid as it was made in “haste” and “without due consideration” of the context of his comments.
A spokesperson for Gwlad said:
“It’s as if they are saying, we are fine with the 24/7 fearmongering of the mass media, but if anyone dares express a counter opinion to all this, they have got to be purged immediately.
“It’s also a very patronizing attitude towards electors – virtually telling that they can’t be trusted to look at alternative opinions and come to their own judgment on things.”
On his part, Williams said that there are “too many questions that remain unanswered.” Therefore, there is a need for “reasoned debate.”
The posts that got him suspended were on his personal Facebook page. Most of them were links and videos by Dr. Mike Yeadon, who is among the medical experts opposed to the mainstream narrative that most of the population is at risk of contracting COVID-19. According to Yeadon, the number of people dead would be “the same as it would be any other year.”