Facebook, Instagram remove Robert F. Kennedy Jr. anti-vaccine group

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
(Image credit: Alessandro Bremec/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

An anti-vaccine group run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been removed from both Instagram and Facebook for promoting medical misinformation.

Children's Health Defense said on its website that it has been suspended on Instagram and "unpublished" on Facebook, and Meta confirmed to The New York Times the accounts were removed for "repeatedly" violating its policies against misinformation. The non-profit organization has spread false information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, including coronavirus vaccines. It says it had "hundreds of thousands of followers" on the platforms.

Kennedy, who serves as chair of the group, accused Facebook of "acting here as a surrogate for the Federal government's crusade to silence all criticism of draconian government policies." Facebook, meanwhile, told the group that "we encourage free expression, but don't allow false information about COVID-19 that could contribute to physical harm."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Kennedy has for years promoted false information about vaccines, and he was banned from Instagram in 2021 "for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines." He still, however, has an account on Facebook. According to the Times, Meta had "over a dozen discussions" over the past year about removing Children's Health Defense's accounts before taking action.

But Karen Kornbluh, director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative, argued to The Associated Press that this step is "too late and too little."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us