Instagram reinstated the personal account of anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who declared his bid to run in the 2024 Democratic primary earlier this year.
Kennedy’s personal account was permanently removed from Instagram in 2021 after he repeatedly posted misinformation about COVID-19 on the social media platform. The company said in a statement at the time that it removed the account for sharing “debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.”
The Washington Post reported that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, said that while Kennedy’s personal account will be restored, his organization’s will not be. His anti-vaccine nonprofit, Children’s Health Defense, also had its account suspended from Instagram and Facebook last year over spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
“As he is now an active candidate for president of the United States, we have restored access to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s, Instagram account,” a spokesperson for Instagram and Facebook parent company Meta said in a statement to The Post.
Kennedy, who is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, tweeted last week that his presidential campaign was unable to set up an Instagram account. The Meta spokesperson told The Post that the recrticiton was an error, saying that the platform “quickly fixed” the issue.
“To silence a major political candidate is profoundly undemocratic. Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square. How can democracy function if only some candidates have access to it?” Kennedy tweeted at the time.
Twitter owner Elon Musk responded to Kennedy’s tweet and offered him a chance to speak with him in a Twitter Spaces livestream event, which is set to be held Monday afternoon. This event comes after Musk held a similar event with presidential hopeful Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last month to announce the governor’s presidential campaign, a launch that was riddled with technical difficulties.
The Hill has reached out to Meta to confirm the details of Kennedy’s Instagram being reinstated.