RFK Jr.’s anti-vaccine group kicked off Instagram, Facebook

  • FILE - Attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks after a hearing challenging the constitutionality of the state legislature's repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination on behalf of New York state families who held lawful religious exemptions, during a rally outside the Albany County Courthouse Aug. 14, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. Instagram and Facebook have suspended Children's Health Defense from its platforms for repeated violations of its policies on COVID-19 misinformation. The nonprofit led by Robert Kennedy Jr. is regularly criticized by public health advocates for its misleading claims about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Instagram and Facebook have suspended Children’s Health Defense for repeated violations of policies on COVID-19 misinformation. The nonprofit led by Robert Kennedy Jr. is regularly criticized by public health advocates for its misleading claims about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. Kennedy objected to his group being kicked off, but under Facebook and Instagram’s policies, anyone can be suspended indefinitely if they repeatedly spread potentially harmful misinformation. Kennedy himself remains active on Facebook, though he was kicked off Instagram last year. Both platforms are owned by parent company Meta. Instagram and Facebook suspended Children’s Health Defense this week after the anti-vaccine group led by Robert Kennedy Jr. repeatedly violated rules prohibiting misinformation about COVID-19.

Children’s Health Defense is one of the most influential anti-vaccine organizations active on social media, where it has spread misleading claims about vaccines and other public health measures designed to control the pandemic. In a statement, Kennedy compared Facebook’s actions to government censorship, even though Facebook is a private company.

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