RFK Jr. Files Lawsuit Against Youtube, Google Over ‘Censorship Campaign’

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company, Google, accusing them of engaging in a “censorship campaign” against his anti-vaccine remarks.

In the 27-page lawsuit filed on Aug. 2, Mr. Kennedy alleged that YouTube violated his First Amendment rights by removing videos of his speech at Saint Anselm College and interviews with clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and conservative podcast host Joe Rogan.

“This complaint concerns the freedom of speech and the extraordinary steps the United States government has taken under the leadership of Joe Biden to silence people it does not want Americans to hear,” the suit reads.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, underlines that Mr. Kennedy was not the only victim of the censorship campaign but also that he was “a high-profile victim” challenging against President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

“This censorship campaign prevents Mr. Kennedy’s message from reaching millions of voters. It also makes it harder for groups that are supporting his campaign to amplify his message through public sources,” the suit reads.

Mr. Kennedy claimed that YouTube used its “medical misinformation” policies to justify removing the videos, which he alleged was done in partnership with federal government officials, including “the Biden White House,” to silence critics.

In the suit, Mr. Kennedy said that while YouTube is a nongovernmental entity, “there is a sufficiently close nexus between YouTube and the federal government such that YouTube’s actions may be fairly treated as that of the government itself.”

“For example, although it cited its own COVID vaccine misinformation policies when censoring Mr. Kennedy, the policies rely entirely on government officials to decide what information gets censored,” the complaint reads.

“They say that YouTube does not allow people to say anything ‘that contradicts local health authorities’ (LHA) or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.'”

“These policies are subject to change, but only ‘in response to changes to global or local health authorities’ guidance on the virus.’ In other words, the government provides the rules that guide YouTube’s enforcement of the medical misinformation policies,” the lawsuit added.

Mr. Kennedy requested injunctive relief “prohibiting YouTube from censoring him during his political,” along with a judicial declaration “that YouTube’s medical misinformation policies are unconstitutional on their face” for the reasons outlined in the suit.

“This partnership has targeted Mr. Kennedy from day one of the Biden administration but, on information and belief, it has increased since Kennedy challenged the president politically,” the complaint reads.

YouTube did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Epoch Times.

NTD Photo
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (L) speaks during a campaign event to launch his 2024 presidential bid at the Boston Park Plaza in Boston, Mass., on April 19, 2023. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images); President Joe Biden (R) speaks to the crowd during a celebration event at St. Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, Ireland, on April 14, 2023. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

On June 18, the video-sharing platform said after removing Mr. Kennedy’s interview with Jordan Peterson that its Community Guidelines “apply equally to all creators on our platform, regardless of political viewpoint.”

“We removed a video from the Jordan Peterson channel for violating YouTube’s general vaccine misinformation policy, which prohibits content that alleges that vaccines cause chronic side effects, outside of rare side effects that are recognized by health authorities,” a Youtube spokesperson said.

YouTube is not the first digital media platform to censor Mr. Kennedy, an outspoken skeptic of the COVID-19 vaccines. Until as recently as June 4, he was banned from Instagram, and he remains banned from TikTok.

Since declaring his candidacy for president in April, Mr. Kennedy has not only been iced out by Big Tech platforms but also his own party.

Although he is now one of three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, the Democratic National Committee has chosen not to schedule primary debates. Instead, the party has opted to back the reelection of President Joe Biden.

Samantha Flom contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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