Meta Censors ‘Who Is Bobby Kennedy?’ Film, Social Media Giant Accused of Election Interference

LOS ANGELES—MAY 6, 2024—A PAC supporting Independent Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. released on Saturday a 30-minute biographical film about the life of RFK Jr., his environmental activism, and why he’s running for President. “Who Is Bobby Kennedy?”, narrated by Woody Harrelson, has already garnered more than 6 million views across multiple platforms.

Viewers attempting to share the film on Facebook and Instagram were in for an unpleasant surprise when they were unable to upload the video. The reasons Meta gave users were inconsistent. Some were told the video was spam or that the link went to a malicious website, or that it contained “graphic and violent content,” while others were told it violated community standards. And some simply got an error message saying “upload failed.” 

“If supporters of all candidates do not have equal access to the digital public square, then we have a democracy in name only,” Kennedy said. “This goes beyond restricting freedom of expression on issues and ideas. Meta is censoring a biographical film about a major candidate in an election year. How can voters make an informed choice if they are denied basic information about a candidate’s life? ”

Condemnation of what many view as flagrant election interference was widespread, with hundreds of users posting screenshots documenting censorship on Facebook and Instagram. The campaign has collected these screenshots and a sampling of them can be viewed here. In some cases, Meta even removed comments referring to the removal of their posts. 

After these tactics attracted unwelcome attention, Meta changed strategies, allowing uploads but algorithmically suppressing the video, to the point where the video gets zero views even when posted by users with thousands of followers. 

Not only were users prevented from posting the video, but in many cases Meta also suspended their accounts for two or six days.

“We are looking into the legal implications of Meta’s actions and whether we have grounds for a lawsuit,” said Kennedy. “But we are hoping that this egregious violation of the spirit — if not the letter — of the principle of free speech will meet with condemnation in the court of public opinion.”

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