No strangers to controversy, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and podcaster Dr. Jordan Peterson again face the blast of YouTube’s ire.
YouTube once again meddled in the 2024 election when it removed yet another interview of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (D) Saturday. In an interview with world-renowned psychologist Peterson, the pair discussed a range of topics including Kennedy’s presidential campaign, vaccines and the alleged dominance of pharmaceutical companies. YouTube told MRC Free Speech America in a statement that it "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."
YouTube noted that under its vaccine misinformation policy, the platform removes so-called “false claims about currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO.” The platform added that this includes “content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects” and “content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism.”
Peterson, whose account was directly affected by the censorship, was having none of it. “Now @YouTube has taken upon itself to actively interfere with a presidential election campaign @RobertKennedyJr,” Peterson tweeted.
What do you think ... Should social media platforms censor presidential candidates? My conversation with @JordanBPeterson was deleted by @YouTube. Luckily you can watch it here on @Twitter (thank you @elonmusk). #Kennedy24https://t.co/PJFKWH6zmd— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) June 18, 2023
Kennedy, however, used the censorship to start a discussion on Twitter, a platform that owner Elon Musk has said should promote free speech. “What do you think ... Should social media platforms censor presidential candidates?” Kennedy asked. “My conversation with @JordanBPeterson was deleted by @YouTube. Luckily you can watch it here on @Twitter (thank you @elonmusk). #Kennedy24.” Kennedy also posted the full video of the interview.
This attack on free speech and America’s electoral process is just the most recent battle in a barrage of YouTube censorship.
On June 5th, YouTube removed an interview Kennedy did with boxing champion Mike Tyson, in which Kennedy said that the CIA killed his father. The platform additionally censored interviews Kennedy did with YouTuber and independent reporter Dark Journalist, and independent journalist Kim Iversen. Kennedy also did an interview with renowned podcaster Joe Rogan, prompting left-leaning media outlets Vice and The Verge to call for Spotify to censor so-called “misinformation.”
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