Instagram Bans Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

RFK Jr.'s vaccine posts get him booted
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2021 1:43 AM CST
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Banned From Instagram
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. arrives for 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, Aug. 14, 2019, in Albany, NY.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. isn't just a Kennedy, he's a well-known anti-vaxxer—and now that stance has gotten him banned from Instagram. "We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a spokesperson for the social media site's parent company, Facebook, says in a statement cited by CNN. Neither Kennedy nor Children's Health Defense, the nonprofit group he chairs, had an immediate comment. The rep said there were no plans "at this time" to remove RFK Jr.'s Facebook page, which was still active at the time of this writing, including a recent post questioning the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

But CNN notes Facebook has struggled with moderating misinformation around vaccines, and announced on Monday new measures it is instituting to further crack down on such posts. CNN reported earlier this week that anti-vax Facebook groups are still quite easy to find—such groups are linked to increases in anti-vax communities—while Instagram was featuring anti-vax posts quite prominently in its search results. The Guardian reports that in 2019, a study found that most of the Facebook ads spreading vaccine misinformation were funded by either Kennedy's organization or Stop Mandatory Vaccinations, another large anti-vax group. (More Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stories.)

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