NASHUA, N.H. – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says social media giant YouTube was wrong to take down videos of COVID-19 vaccine discussions and an interview in which the Democrat presidential candidate said that chemicals in the water are turning kids transgender.
“I think it’s wrong. I think we’re living in [a] new era where these big social media sites have now replaced the public square,” Kennedy said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News Digital. “I think they really ought to have a sense of obligation to be the forums for open debate on issues – even if the issues are complex or difficult.”
The environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine critic, who’s a scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty, said “the First Amendment was not passed to protect safe speech. It was passed to protect difficult speech, speech that people don’t want to hear. And I think the social media sites need to really have to look carefully at their responsibility.”
Kennedy and podcast host Jordan Peterson tweeted Sunday that the video-sharing website had taken down their interview from an episode of Peterson’s show and accused the social media platform of censorship and interfering with a presidential campaign.
“I think a lot of the problems we see in kids, particularly boys, it’s probably underappreciated on that how much of that is coming from chemical exposures, including a lot of the sexual dysphoria that we’re seeing,” Kennedy said.
“I mean, they’re swimming through a soup of toxic chemicals today, and many of those are endocrine disruptors. There’s atrazine throughout our water supply,” the Democrat presidential candidate said.
“Under our general vaccine misinformation policies, we remove false claims about currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and the WHO. This includes content that falsely alleges that approved vaccines are dangerous and cause chronic health effects, claims that vaccines do not reduce transmission or contraction of disease, or contains misinformation on the substances contained in vaccines will be removed. This would include content that falsely says that approved vaccines cause autism, cancer or infertility, or that substances in vaccines can track those who receive them.”
“Our policies not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines,” the spokesperson wrote. “Content that would otherwise violate our Community Guidelines may stay on YouTube when it has Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic (EDSA) context, such as providing countervailing views to the remarks that violate our policies.”
“I’ll debate anybody anywhere on this issue. I’ve been asking Peter Hotez to debate me for years. But he has refused to do it,” Kennedy said Tuesday.
“If you’re a scientist and you cannot defend your science, there’s something wrong with it,” he added. “I think it would be healthy for our country. I think we ought to have the debate. I think the American people deserve that kind of debate on every public health issue. All science is ultimately rooted in reason and logic and we ought to be able to defend it.”