Skip to content
Menu

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Sues Google And YouTube Over Alleged Censorship Of Anti-Vaccine Content

Presidential candidate claims violation of First Amendment rights as tech giants face lawsuit

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running to secure the Democratic nomination for the 2024 U.S. Presidential election, has filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google and YouTube, claiming censorship and violation of First Amendment rights over alleged suppression of his anti-vaccine interviews and speeches.

In the 27-page complaint filed in California, Kennedy Jr. has accused Google and its subsidiary YouTube of bowing to pressure from the federal government and President Joe Biden’s administration to silence him and censor his views on COVID-19 vaccines, reported The Independent.  

GettyImages-1558591065.jpg
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks during hearing with the House Judiciary Subcommittee in Capitol Hill on July 20, 2023, in Washington, DC. RFK Jr sues ‘state actors’ YouTube and Google for alleged censorship of his anti-vaxx interviews. ANNA MONEYMAKER/GETTY IMAGES.

The lawsuit contends that the tech giants engaged in “overt and covert” means to stifle his anti-vaccination crusade.

It highlighted several instances where Kennedy’s content was removed from the platforms, including a discussion with podcast host Joe Rogan. Kennedy’s lawyers argue that these actions amount to “viewpoint discrimination,” violating his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

“Under these circumstances, YouTube is a state actor, and it violated Mr. Kennedy’s First Amendment rights by engaging in viewpoint discrimination,” said the complaint.

“YouTube applies its community guidelines independently, transparently, and consistently, regardless of political viewpoint,” said Google spokesperson José Castaneda in response to the lawsuit. He called the claims “meritless” and expressed confidence in refuting them, the report noted. 

GettyImages-1558591065.jpg
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks during hearing with the House Judiciary Subcommittee in Capitol Hill on July 20, 2023, in Washington, DC. RFK Jr sues ‘state actors’ YouTube and Google for alleged censorship of his anti-vaxx interviews. ANNA MONEYMAKER/GETTY IMAGES.

Kennedy Jr., viewed as a polarizing figure by some, had previously faced social media platform bans. He has also gained notoriety for his staunch resistance to COVID-19 vaccine mandates. However, his claims have faced criticism from public health experts and even some of his family members, who view them as misleading and potentially dangerous.

“Mr Kennedy’s anti-vaccine crusade and penchant for spreading fact-free conspiracy theories have seen him run afoul of the content moderation policies of several digital sites.

© 2023 Zenger News.com. Zenger News does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners