RFK Jr Super PAC will sue Meta after campaign infomercial temporarily blocked

Super PAC backing the environmental lawyer-turned-conspiracy theorist claims censorship

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Monday 06 May 2024 15:52 BST
(EPA)

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The political action committee behind a 30-minute infomercial meant to pitch voters on Robert F Kennedy Jr says it will file a lawsuit against Meta after the company’s platforms temporarily blocked posting of a link to the campaign video last week.

The short film, titled Who is Bobby Kennedy?, is meant to introduce voters to the long-shot independent presidential candidate, an environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist who is also the son of late New York senator Robert F Kennedy. Instagram and Facebook, which are both owned by Meta, made the video temporarily unavailable after it was first posted.

Slickly produced, the video is the product of work by The Morning Show creatorJay Carson and opens with Mr Kennedy reading press clippings describing him in negative terms. It became available on May 3rd via YouTube, but in the days immediately following the commercial’s launch, the super PAC claims Meta deliberately blocked it.

A spokesperson for Meta, Andy Stone, denied the claims in a statement and said the video was temporarily blocked because it had been classified as spam.

In a press release, the PAC claims the film has been trending on Twitter/X, the platform owned by Elon Musk, who in recent years has become increasingly comfortable engaging with and spreading right-wing conspiracy theories and disinformation. Musk famously dismantled most of that platform’s efforts to combat deliberate lies spread around public events.

The pro-Kennedy committee also claims the film is not trending on Facebook or Instagram because it has been “shadow banned” — a term first used by pro-Trump activists who claim social media companies deliberately limit the reach of their content for political reasons.

“When social media companies censor a presidential candidate, the public can’t learn what that candidate actually believes and what policies they would pursue if elected,” said American Values Super PAC founder Tony Lyons in a statement.

 “We are left with the propaganda and lies from the most powerful and most corrupt groups and individuals. This is the hallmark of an oligarchy — not a democracy,” he added.

Meta spokesperson Andy Stone said of the ad: “It was mistakenly blocked, and it was corrected within a few hours.”

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