Fb-owned Instagram has completely banned Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a outstanding anti-vaccine activist who had over 800,000 followers on the platform, The Wall Street Journal reports. A spokesperson for the service stated his account was eliminated “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims concerning the coronavirus or vaccines.” His account on Fb, nonetheless, continues to be reside, with Fb telling Variety that it has no plan to take away the web page “presently.”
Kennedy has been cited as one of many prime spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation by the nonprofit group Middle for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), the WSJ notes. He additionally based Youngsters’s Well being Protection, which CCDH calls a number one anti-vaccine charity.
Kennedy’s elimination from the platform comes only a few days after Fb introduced it’s stepping up efforts to fight vaccine misinformation on its platforms. Though it banned anti-vaccination adverts last October, and began eradicating vaccine misinformation in December, this week it stated it was expanding the list of false COVID-19 and vaccine-related claims it might take away. Specifically, it should take away posts that declare COVID-19 is man-made, or that vaccines are harmful or ineffective.
Youngsters’s Well being Protection has previously challenged Fb’s vaccine fact-checking initiatives. In a lawsuit filed final yr, the group claimed that initiatives like fact-checking labels positioned on its web page created a “falsely disparaging” picture of the group.
Though Kennedy’s Instagram account has been eliminated, his pages are nonetheless reside on Fb and Twitter, with a whole lot of hundreds of followers between them. On Fb itself he has over 300,000 followers, with 215,000 followers on Twitter. As of this writing, his most up-to-date posts on each platforms include hyperlinks to Youngsters’s Well being Protection.