White House Fires Up Big Tech’s Covid ‘Disinformation Dozen’ Game

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That statistic is from the nonprofit Center for Combating Digital Hate (CCDH), which: identified in a report published in March about a dozen people said they were super spreaders of vaccine misinformation.

At the time, the CCDH had called on Facebook and Twitter to close all pages of those people.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent figure in the anti-vaccination movement, is among those the CCDH said should be kicked off social media.

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Kennedy’s page on Instagram which was owned by Facebook shut down earlier this year for sharing misinformation about Covid-19, Facebook said. Kennedy, however, can still go on facebook (FB) himself, and he has over 300,000 followers on the platform.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of former US President John F. Kennedy and a prominent figure in the anti-vaccination movement, in 2020.

A Facebook spokesperson explained why Kennedy was kicked off one platform but not another.

When the CCDH’s report was released in March, Kennedy told NPR that he had become more cautious on Facebook, which he also accused of censorship, according to NPR. “I have to put pictures of unicorns and cat cats in there,” he said.

The CCDH said on Friday that 35 social media accounts linked to the identified people have now been closed, causing them to lose 5.8 million followers, but 62 accounts with a total of 8.4 million followers are still active.

CNN reported Thursday that meetings between the Biden administration and Facebook have become “tense,” according to a person familiar with the talks.

The person specifically referred to Kennedy’s still-active Facebook account as an example of what some White House officials view as Facebook’s inaction regarding misinformation about Covid-19.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN on Friday that the company had shut down some pages and groups belonging to the approximately 12 people identified by the CCDH, but would not say which pages.

A spokesperson for Twitter (TWTR) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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