Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) is suing Google and YouTube for allegedly violating his free speech, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
Kennedy is campaigning against President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and asserts he was the first person censored by Biden and that suppression will persist, particularly as the primary elections approach, according to the complaint.
YouTube is a “digital town square” connected to the government, so it cannot legally censor Kennedy’s speech, such as removing his speeches and interviews from the platform, the lawsuit alleges.
“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 lawsuit states.
YouTube has censored Kennedy’s videos on YouTube due to its “vaccine misinformation” policies multiple times, according to the complaint. Kennedy founded the anti-vaccine charity Children’s Health Defense and has publicly opposed some vaccines, including the COVID-19 ones.
“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.’”
This means the government sets the guidelines for YouTube to follow to suppress so-called “medical misinformation,” Kennedy’s lawsuit asserts. “YouTube relies on the government to decide what information to censor,” it states.
While social media companies have begun to stop suppressing Kennedy since declaring his candidacy, YouTube has continued to remove his content, according to the complaint. “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.”
He also pledged to sign executive orders preventing government involvement censorship if he is elected president.
“YouTube applies its Community Guidelines independently, transparently, and consistently, regardless of political viewpoint,” a Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “These claims are meritless and we look forward to refuting them.”
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