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

Instagram and Facebook suspended Children’s Health Defense this week after the anti-vaccine group led by Robert Kennedy Jr. repeatedly violated guidelines prohibiting misinformation about COVID-19.

A nonprofit, Children’s Health Defense is likely one of the most influential anti-vaccine organizations energetic on social media, the place it has unfold deceptive claims about vaccines and different public health measures designed to manage the pandemic.

In a press release, Kennedy in contrast Facebook’s actions to authorities censorship, although Facebook is a personal firm that may set and implement its personal guidelines about misinformation.

“Facebook is acting here as a surrogate for the federal government’s crusade to silence all criticism of draconian government policies,” Kennedy stated.

Children’s Health Defense had tons of of 1000’s of followers on the time of the suspension, in keeping with a press release from the group, which additionally famous that it has sued Facebook over its moderation insurance policies.

Public well being advocates and misinformation consultants have criticized Facebook for not acting more swiftly to include doubtlessly dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.

Karen Kornbluh, director of the Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative on the German Marshall Fund, stated too many teams like Children’s Health Defense have been allowed to flourish on social media for too lengthy. She famous that the group stays on Twitter.

“Today’s step is too late and too little,” Kornbluh stated, including that tech firms should handle the explanations misinformation spreads so readily on social media.

Facebook and Instagram confirmed the corporate motion on Thursday in a press release to The Associated Press.

“We removed these accounts for repeatedly violating our policies,” a spokesman for Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s dad or mum firm, informed the AP. Under the platforms’ insurance policies, suspensions are usually solely enforced after a number of violations.

Several state associates of Children’s Health Defense stay on Facebook and Instagram regardless of the ban of the nationwide group. Kennedy was kicked off Instagram final 12 months however continues to maintain an energetic account on Facebook.

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