Facebook bans Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Instagram in anti-vax crackdown

But the Facebook profile of JFK's nephew has not been removed

Facebook has removed the Instagram page of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, over his posts expressing skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The tech giant announced that it would be cracking down on vaccine misinformation and removing "false claims on Facebook and Instagram about COVID-19 and vaccines."

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"We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines," a Facebook spokesperson told FOX Business.

Kennedy, who is the founder and chairman of a nonprofit organization called Children's Health Defense, best known for its anti-vaccine activism, has been actively sharing posts expressing skepticism with the COVID-19 vaccine on his personal Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Social media accounts linked to Children's Health Defense have shared similar posts, but these pages have not been removed.

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The ban came after Kennedy questioned Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates' support for vaccines – a conspiracy theory that has appeared across social media since the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks onstage at Food & Bounty At Sunset Gower Studios on Jan. 13, 2019, in Hollywood, Calif. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) ((Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images))

Gates has offered his advice since the beginning of the pandemic in TV interviews and on social media about how the U.S. can curb the spread of the virus and effectively distribute vaccines. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on improving health and wellness in developing countries, has contributed $1.75 million toward efforts to combat COVID-19.

Facebook confirmed to FOX Business that Kennedy's Facebook profile was not removed despite the company's decision to ban his Instagram page.

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The spokesperson said Facebook does not automatically disable accounts across its apps "because the accounts may post about different things on our different services."

The social media platform has received some criticism for not taking enough action against posts that make false claims about the vaccine.

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To combat the issue, Facebook recently announced that since December, it has been removing claims suggesting COVID-19 was manufactured, vaccines are not effective in preventing viruses, it is safer to get COVID-19 than the vaccine, or that vaccines are dangerous or cause autism.

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Facebook said in a Monday blog post that it was "expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about COVID-19 and vaccines" following "consultations with leading health organizations, including the [World Health Organization]."