Shanahan Blasts Meta CEO Zuckerberg Over Film Censorship

Shanahan Blasts Meta CEO Zuckerberg Over Film Censorship
Adam Garrie | May 7, 2024

By Adam Garrie, The Kennedy Beacon

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s vice-presidential running mate, Nichole Shanahan, went on the offensive against Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg after the company censored a 30-minute film (infomercial) on Kennedy,

In a post on X, Shanahan said, “Mark Zuckerberg, are you kidding me?! No amount of MMA fighting will make you look strong if you continue to behave so cowardly.”

Shanahan’s post is accompanied by authentic screenshots of users of Meta’s platforms attempting to post clips from the video only to be stopped by Meta’s algorithm. In addition to being a tech CEO, Zuckerberg is also an amateur MMA fighter.

Since its premiere across all major platforms and its simultaneous censorship on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, the video has been seen over 40 million times on X alone, with around half of those views coming after it was shared accompanied by a recommendation from the platform’s owner, Elon Musk.

But while Musk advised his 182.3 million followers to watch the film (“worth watching”), Zuckerberg has yet to address his company’s censorship of the video.

Conceived, filmed and produced by Apple TV +’s The Morning Show creator Jay Carson and director Mike Piscitelli, the 30-minute film tells Kennedy’s story in an eloquent, candid, motivating, and entertaining way. It details how the prevailing narrative about him – “crazy,” “dangerous,” “unhinged” – bears little resemblance to the reality of who he is and the work he’s done as a successful environmental attorney and corruption fighter.”

This is not the first time Kennedy-related content has been censored by Meta. In February of 2021, Kennedy’s personal Instagram account was eliminated by the corporation. This came a month after the Biden administration directed federal agencies to coerce major tech companies, including Meta, to specifically censor Kennedy. These attempts to censor Kennedy at the direction of the Biden administration began within the first three days of Biden’s inauguration, according to a recent congressional report.

It is unknown whether Meta’s censorship of Who is Bobby Kennedy was directed by the candidate’s electoral opponent, President Biden, as was the case with Meta’s past censorship of Kennedy-related content.

Shanahan’s use of the word “coward” to describe Zuckerberg may well be significant beyond the symbolism of an MMA hobbyist cowering in fear of a popular political documentary.

Evidence in the Murthy vs. Missouri lawsuit has demonstrated that the majority of big tech companies, including Meta, easily surrendered their vital role in the fight for free speech when met with coercion from the White House. Courageous tech executives could have said that such coercion is unconstitutional and that no legal speech will be censored until both sides get their day in court. This has been the approach of platforms like Rumble and X, but Meta continues to censor like its 2021. Even Google-owned YouTube, a platform that previously censored Kennedy, continues to host the Kennedy documentary free of censorship.

While Kennedy continues to use his experience as an attorney to hold big tech censors to account, Shanahan has brought fresh insights on big tech to the campaign. A native of Oakland, California, in the heart of the tech-centric Bay Area, Shanahan is a key figure in the emerging field of AI ethics.

Shanahan’s expertise is unique to presidential politics. While there have been numerous lawyers and soldiers who have been president and vice president over the centuries, these offices have never been held by anyone involved in the tech industry, even though the largest corporations, in terms of market capitalization, are tech firms.

American Values 2024 (AV24), the super PAC supporting Kennedy for president, bought the documentary from its producers. AV24 plans to sue Meta, as reported in The Kennedy Beacon.

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