Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of the most influential and popular anti-vaccine activists, was banned from Instagram for what the social media platform claimed was “repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.” Instagram now announced it will censor claims “that vaccines cause autism and that it is safer to get COVID-19 than receive the vaccine.” It is uncertain whether Facebook will follow suit. Kennedy’s Instagram profile, prior to its removal, had over 800,000 followers.
“None of my posts were false. Facebook, the pharmaceutical industry and its captive regulators use the term ‘vaccine misinformation’ as a euphemism for any factual assertion that departs from official pronouncements about vaccine health and safety, whether true or not. This kind of censorship is counterproductive if our objective is a safe and effective vaccine supply.”Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and a lifelong Democrat, is the founder and chairman of the nonprofit Children’s Health Defense.
The Left applauds Instagram’s decision. CNN anchor Jack Tapper tweeted, “Kennedy Jr. is a menace.” “It’s about time, @instagram. @RobertKennedyJr has been spewing antivaccine disinformation since 2005,” wrote scientist David Gorski, who also asked, “OK, @Facebook, now what about you?”
“Instagram has banned Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Del Bigtree for spreading misinformation about Covid and vaccines. But their organizations – Children’s Health Defense and ICAN – are still on there. This isn’t going to work unless @Facebook uproots these networks in full.”Center for Countering Digital Hate
The Right warns that such censorship sets a dangerous precedence. “Whether you agree with Kennedy’s claims or not, the fact that he can be so easily silenced should be concerning to any American who cherishes the right to free speech,” argued Phil Shiver, a staff writer with The Blaze.
“[Robert F. Kennedy] Jr. is a serious scholar. I do not care about your political leanings. The guy is an intellectual titan. For college dropout Mark Zuckerberg to to decree arbitrarily that RFK Jr. cannot participate in the digital public square is an attack on democracy itself. This cannot stand.”Toby Rogers, Founder of Coalition for Autism Prevention
In response to a headline claiming that Kennedy circulated “misinformation,” Adam Dick, a senior fellow at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity – an organization which works for the “protection of civil liberties” – wrote, “Misinformation? Not really. What Kennedy has been providing is information different from what government, along with big money media and social media, have been pushing over the last year in America — the long-time fear-mongering concerning coronavirus and praising of coronavirus crackdowns, as well as the recent incessant promoting that everyone should take the experimental coronavirus vaccines.”