Facebook and Instagram removed the accounts of Children’s Health Defense, the non-profit led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., over what the platforms said were repeated violations of their Covid-19 policies.
Children’s Health Defense reported on the actions of the platforms in a posting on its website Thursday. It said that it had received a notice from Facebook that the account had been unpublished and a notice from Instagram that it had been suspended.
In a statement, Kennedy said, “Facebook is acting here as a surrogate for the federal government’s crusade to silence all criticism of draconian government policies. Our constitutional framers recognized this peril of government censorship.”
A Meta spokesperson confirmed that action to remove the accounts. Facebook and Instagram use a strike system, with those who repeatedly violate policies subject to having their accounts disabled. The Facebook message to Children’s Health Defense read, “We encourage free expression, but don’t allow false information about Covid-19 that could contribute to physical harm.”
Kennedy has been a chief spokesperson raising doubts about the safety vaccines, including Covid, particularly for children. He was among the “Disinformation Dozen,” identified by another non profit, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, in a report last year.
Nick Clegg, the president of global affairs for Meta, wrote last month that they are asking the company Oversight Board whether its “measures to address dangerous COVID-19 misinformation, introduced in extraordinary circumstances at the onset of the pandemic, should remain in place as many, though not all, countries around the world seek to return to more normal life.”
The group sued Facebook in 2020 over its Covid policies and is appealing a lower court ruling.