EXCLUSIVE: Meta Tells MRC Why IG Banned RFK Jr’s Account

June 5th, 2023 5:51 PM

Big Tech is back at it with election interference, this time anti-free speech platform Instagram admitting that it suspended a presidential candidate’s account over an “error.”

In exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America, a spokesperson for Instagram parent company Meta admitted that Instagram had censored Democratic Party presidential primary candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The spokesperson claimed, “[W]ith respect to the below: this was an error, which we corrected.” The spokesperson also shared with MRC Free Speech America staff a link to an article at The Washington Post with the following misleading headline: “Instagram reinstates Robert Kennedy Jr. after launch of presidential bid.”

Kennedy Jr., who is challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for president in 2024, blasted Instagram over what he labeled “undemocratic” censorship in a series of Twitter posts. “To silence a major political candidate is profoundly undemocratic,” the Democrat politician wrote in a tweet. “Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square. How can democracy function if only some candidates have access to it?”

The Post’s article featured a comment from Andy Stone, a spokesman for Meta saying, “As he is now an active candidate for president of the United States, we have restored access to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s, Instagram account.” Kennedy Jr.’s account was initially suspended over alleged COVID-19 vaccine misinformation violations on February 11, 2021.

However, Instagram failed to mention in its statements to both The Post and MRC Free Speech America that it took a public outcry for the anti-free speech platform to take action. Kennedy Jr. announced his presidential bid on April 19, 2023, nearly seven weeks ago. It was not until Kennedy Jr. called out Instagram on a competing social media platform, Twitter, that the Meta company reversed the suspension.

The Instagram suspension, however, isn’t an isolated case of Big Tech suppression for the Kennedy Jr. campaign.

The latest example occurred on Monday. YouTube slapped a “Context” warning label on a newly released Kennedy Jr. interview with author and now The Daily Wire host Dr. Jordan Peterson. Dr. Peterson, a victim of relentless censorship himself, took to Twitter to slap down YouTube’s censorship, saying in a tweet: “We are truly in the stupidest of times. Comments @YouTube? Why in the world did you do this?” YouTube did not immediately respond to MRC Free Speech America’s questions prior to publication.

YouTube’s “Context” label claims, “Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, mainly caused by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels.” YouTube also directs viewers to a United Nations’ landing page titled “What Is Climate Change,” which argues that climate change is mainly caused by “human activities.” It is unclear whether YouTube limits the reach of content that receives such labels. 

Watch Kennedy Jr.’s interview with Dr. Peterson below:

Conservatives are under attack. Contact Instagram headquarters at (650) 543-4800 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.