Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. hinted at the possibility of establishing a government-run social media platform to guard against excessive censorship in an interview on Tuesday.
Kennedy discussed the possibility during an interview with Russell Brand, a popular actor and comedian. Kennedy pledged to take steps to prevent social media censorship, including passing executive orders to prohibit the government’s involvement in social media censorship if he is elected president in 2024, the Daily Caller reported.
“As soon as I get in office I’m gonna issue a series of executive orders and national security orders ordering government agencies and government officials — any federal government employee — to refrain from any kind of participation in any censorship,” he said.
Kennedy unveiled his plan to bring together the “big tech titans” for a multiple-day “seminar” at the White House to address the issue of increasing censorship on social media platforms. During the interview, Kennedy said he would consider “making them common carriers where it’s illegal to censor” if social media companies continue to infringe on the first amendment rights of American citizens.
“I don’t want to do that, I think it’s much better for them to stay as private companies but they need to recognize they are now the public square,” he said. “That is just the reality of our time. If you want to talk to large groups of Americans, those are the only places you can do it.”
If social media companies refuse to make changes to censorship policies, Kennedy suggested that he would be in favor launching a government-operated social media platform in the United States.
“If the government has to start its own [platform] under some rubric that is guaranteed to be free of censorship, then I will do that,” Kennedy said.
With multiple plans to address concerns about censorship impacting First Amendment rights, Kennedy resolved to “make the United States an example of a censorship-free nation” during the interview.
Following Tuesday’s comments, Kennedy’s press team told the Daily Caller that he does not support “government-run social media.” Instead, his team insisted that private companies that oversee “large social networks” should be forced to “uphold certain basic rights, especially the right to free speech.”