The interview between presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and podcast host Jordan Peterson was removed by YouTube due to a violation of the platform’s “vaccine policies.” During the interview, Kennedy made the assertion that chemicals present in water are responsible for gender dysphoria in children. Both Kennedy and Peterson expressed their strong disapproval of what they believed to be censorship and interference in the presidential campaign.
YouTube Removes Jordan Peterson's Interview with RFK Jr for "Violating Vaccine Policy"https://t.co/r15dGvXLnO
— The Daily Fetched (@DailyFetched) June 20, 2023
Kennedy took to Twitter to question whether social media platforms should be censoring candidates, while Peterson accused the platform of meddling in the campaign. Kennedy’s campaign clarified his stance, stating that he supports thorough and impartial safety testing of all vaccines. A representative from Google, YouTube’s parent company, stated that the video violated the platform’s general policy against vaccine misinformation.
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
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?
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) June 2, 2023
The representative further emphasized that the Community Guidelines are applied uniformly to all creators, irrespective of their political views. Prior to its removal, Kennedy asserted in the interview that the presence of certain chemicals in water, such as atrazine, is contributing to sexual dysphoria in children, mentioning their endocrine-disrupting properties.
This incident marked Kennedy’s second encounter with censorship, as he had previously been banned from creating new campaign accounts on Facebook-owned Instagram for a period of 180 days. Kennedy claimed that certain entities were attempting to silence him and noted the role of social media as a modern-day equivalent of the town square.