Instagram removes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for posting false COVID-19 claims

FILE PHOTO: Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to a crowd of supporters outside New York State Supreme Court after a hearing challenging the constitutionality of the NY State Legislature's repeal of the religious exemption to vaccination in Albany, New York, U.S., August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - Instagram has removed the account of vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about COVID-19 in violation of its policies on the pandemic, the photo-sharing platform’s owner Facebook said on Thursday.

Kennedy, the nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and his representatives could not be reached for a comment.

A lawyer and environmentalist, he is the son of the former U.S. senator, attorney general and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Facebook had earlier this week said it would expand a list of false health claims it bans from the platform to include debunked claims about vaccines, such as they are toxic or cause autism.

The Wall Street Journal had reported the news earlier in the day.

Reporting by Subham Kalia, Ayanti Bera and Rama Venkat in Bengaluru, Editing by Timothy Heritage and Arun Koyyur