Kyle Rittenhouse: Policy That Blocked Searches For Him On Facebook And Instagram Reversed
Meta has reversed its policy that previously blocked users from searching for Kyle Rittenhouse on Instagram and Facebook.
The social media giant, which recently changed the name of its parent company from Facebook, initially blocked the 18-year-old’s name from being searched on its two platforms in August, 2020, after Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another at Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse has since been acquitted and Facebook subsequently confirmed the move to revert its policy.
Yesterday we designated the shooting as a mass murder and removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook & Instagram. Per standard practice in these situations, we are also removing praise and support of the shooter and have also blocked searches of his name on our platforms.
Fishman said he had a ‘brief thread’ that offered information about the tragic shootings, ‘based on findings from FB’s initial internal investigation’.
Unlike Facebook, YouTube didn’t implement any specific policy in relation to Rittenhouse. Content was only removed if it appeared to glorify violence, which was already an existing regulation.
Moreover, YouTube’s moderation of content related to Rittenhouse’s case didn’t include removing any videos that appeared to glorify his actions, compared to Meta who blocked his name from their search engine, resulting in it coming up with only blank pages.
Rittenhouse’s own accounts on both Instagram and Facebook were also removed by the social media giant.
However, as a result of being found not guilty, Meta’s policy against Rittenhouse has since reverted.
It has even been suggested that the amount of content related to the case that was blocked by the company was a possible over-correction.
Political commentator Lou Dobbs said:
Facebook must be stripped of its power to censor users and never again be allowed to silence political speech
Facebook declared Kyle Rittenhouse guilty, silencing his defense in the court of public opinion
As of today, November 1, Rittenhouse still has no account on either Instagram or Facebook.
Whether he will be allowed by the social media giant to make one in the future remains unclear.
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