Instagram Bars Robert F. Kennedy Jr. For Spreading Vaccine Misinformation

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Instagram has blocked the account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., saying he used it to unfold misinformation about vaccines. He is seen right here final summer season, talking to a crowd in Berlin, at an occasion that highlighted coronavirus skepticism and conspiracy theories.

Sean Gallup/Getty Photographs


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Sean Gallup/Getty Photographs

Instagram has blocked the account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., saying he used it to unfold misinformation about vaccines. He is seen right here final summer season, talking to a crowd in Berlin, at an occasion that highlighted coronavirus skepticism and conspiracy theories.

Sean Gallup/Getty Photographs

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now blocked from Instagram after he repeatedly undercut belief in vaccines. Kennedy has additionally unfold conspiracy theories about Invoice Gates, accusing him of profiteering off vaccines and trying to take management of the world’s meals provide.

“We eliminated this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims concerning the coronavirus or vaccines,” a spokesperson for Fb, which owns Instagram, instructed NPR on Thursday.

Kennedy has been a distinguished voice within the anti-vaccine group for years, talking out in opposition to childhood vaccines and selling controversial and disproven claims that search to hyperlink vaccines with autism.

Previously yr, Kennedy’s beliefs about vaccines have intersected with the COVID-19 pandemic. He has instructed his followers to not belief “mainstream media, authorities well being officers” and medical doctors who say the coronavirus vaccines are secure, lately highlighting a uncommon and tragic case through which a lady died hours after receiving the vaccine.

Kennedy is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, the previous legal professional basic and senator. He has been praised for his environmental activism and conservation efforts. However even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, Kennedy’s stance on vaccinations prompted some in his high-profile household to publicly repudiate his concepts.

“We love Robert F. Kennedy Jr., however he’s a part of a misinformation marketing campaign that is having heartbreaking — and lethal — penalties,” Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Maeve Kennedy McKean wrote in an opinion piece for Politico. Vaccination campaigns, they famous, save thousands and thousands of lives yearly.

Kennedy has proven no intention of listening to his critics, warning that the brand new mRNA know-how that created a number of the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is untested and might trigger critical well being issues. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s high infectious illness professional, has acquired the vaccine, saying scientific advances allowed it to be developed and authorised lower than one yr after the novel coronavirus was recognized.

“It will be horrible, with a instrument nearly as good as that, if individuals do not make the most of that instrument,” Fauci stated, citing the vaccine’s efficacy charge of about 95% in stopping illness.

Kennedy’s Twitter account stays energetic, displaying that he lately highlighted claims that an HPV vaccine prompted infertility and slurred speech. When contacted by NPR, a Twitter consultant stated the corporate is reviewing Kennedy’s account.

Kennedy has additionally stepped up his assaults on Invoice Gates, saying earlier this week that the billionaire desires “to create a brand new feudalism on this planet.” Gates’ push to provide extra vaccines by his philanthropic basis, Kennedy stated, is merely cowl for a profitable plan to make sure that the world depends on know-how.

In early 2017, Kennedy met with then-President-elect Donald Trump, urging him to create a fee to review vaccines’ security. It was an occasion, as NPR reported on the time, of “Trump embracing the perimeter with regards to the science of autism and vaccinations.”

In response to that assembly, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release saying “vaccines shield kids’s well being and save lives.”

Along with Kennedy’s account, Fb says it has taken down quite a lot of different accounts on each Instagram and Fb, together with We Are Vaxxed, which 154,000 individuals had preferred, and Individuals Unite four America, a pro-Trump group that had roughly 31,000 members.

The social media firm says the entire pages violated its lately up to date insurance policies on false claims and misinformation about vaccines.

Editor’s observe: Fb is amongst NPR’s monetary supporters.

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