Facebook Bans Anti-Vaccine Group

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Facebook-owner Meta said on Thursday that it had kicked one of the most influential US anti-vaccination groups off the social media network for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.

The Children’s Health Defense, which has been a critic of COVID-19 vaccines, immediately accused Meta of stifling its free speech rights.

“Facebook is acting here as a surrogate for the federal government’s crusade to silence all criticism of draconian government policies,” CHD founder Robert Kennedy Jr., nephew of late president John F. Kennedy, said in a press release.

Meta spokesperson Aaron Simpson told AFP that the group’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram were shuttered on Wednesday. The ban came after repeated violations of Meta’s misinformation rules.

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CHD said its social media accounts were followed by hundreds of thousands of people and claimed the action by Meta came as a surprise.

In a release, the group shared a screen capture showing messages stating the accounts were suspended for violating Meta policies regarding “misinformation that could lead to real-world harm.”

CHD contended that the ban could be related to a lawsuit it filed against Meta accusing the tech giant of infringing free speech rights by relying on the US Centers for Disease Control regarding what COVID-19 information is scientifically backed.

The anti-vaccine group has appealed a lower court ruling against it in the litigation, according to legal filings.

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(AFP)

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