Instagram on Wednesday banned Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of former presidential candidate Robert Kennedy (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) from repeatedly posting false information about vaccine safety and COVID-19.
Kennedy Jr. has accumulated a large number of followers on social media, and he often publishes debunked or unproven claims about vaccines on social media. He also uses his social media pages to post information about major pharmaceutical companies and environmental health issues.
A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said on Thursday: “We deleted the account to repeatedly share debunk statements about the coronavirus or vaccine.”
In an email statement, Jr. Kennedy stood next to his Instagram posts and added that these posts have been carefully reviewed.
He said: “If our goal is to provide a safe and effective vaccine, this review system will backfire.”
Recently, Kennedy Jr. released misinformation about the COVID vaccine. He said in an article published in late January that although thousands of people have not found serious side effects in research, the COVID vaccine currently being used in the United States is potentially dangerous.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, announced that Kennedy’s (Kennedy Jr.) Instagram account was suspended a few days later. A few days later, Facebook announced that it would step up efforts to prevent the spread of vaccine misinformation, including claims that injections were ineffective, toxic, dangerous, or caused Closed syndrome. Countries around the world are stepping up efforts to vaccinate citizens against COVID-19.
However, as of Thursday morning, Jennedy Jr.’s Facebook page has more than 300,000 users. The company did not immediately respond to questions about Kennedy’s Facebook account.
The Twitter account belonging to Jennedy Jr. also still exists, where he has more than 200,000 followers.
Although repeated scientific studies in the United States and abroad have found no evidence linking vaccines to developmental disorders, the controversial environmental lawyer has helped promote a debunking conspiracy theory for years that vaccines may cause autism disease.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would ban advertisements promoting vaccination on its platform, with the exception of advertisements about government vaccine policies. Unpaid positions for people or groups that discourage vaccination are still allowed.
Facebook has taken other measures to try to prevent the spread of vaccine and coronavirus-related misinformation on its platform. Last year, it said it would begin to hide groups and pages that spread misinformation about vaccination in its website search function.
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