Because I defended Kyle Rittenhouse on TikTok, I was censored

At the end of the day, though, taking down one TikTok is hardly a catastrophe. However, this vexing situation is part of Big Tech's larger pattern of censoring and repressing right-of-center opinions on important political matters, which is alarming.

In a now-famous self-defense/homicide trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a jury found 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty last week. Despite the fact that Rittenhouse's killing of three individuals at a riot last year was validated by the entire procedures of our criminal justice system, the woke censors at TikTok still seem to think the fundamental notion that he acted in self-defense is outside the pale.

When I released a little video on TikTok on Sunday supporting Rittenhouse, the platform took it down, — bizarrely claiming my remarks violate its “harassment and bullying” policy.

My film simply claimed that Rittenhouse's case revealed the hypocrisy of those on the Left who push for criminal justice reform on a regular basis but throw their support for fair criminal procedures out the window in this instance. The following is the text of my remarks:

“Hakeem Jeffries, a progressive congressman, literally tweeted while the trial was still going on: ‘Lock up Kyle Rittenhouse and throw away the key.’ And he’s the same guy that rails against mass incarceration — and I agree with him sometimes — but now, before the trial was even over, they were calling for this guy to be locked up and throw away the key … like they’ve already reached their conclusion. And they lied about it being a ‘white supremacy’ thing when it’s a white dude that shot other white people. 

You don’t have to either think that he’s a hero who did everything right and made amazing decisions or he’s an evil white supremacist who should go to jail. The truth is, I would never let my teenager go to a riot zone with a weapon — that was a bad decision to make — but in the moment, he defended himself. He wasn’t some mass shooter white supremacist, and he should be acquitted.”

What part of that constitutes “bullying” or “harassment” in any form? And this bizarre censorship decision by TikTok wasn’t an error or mistake. I appealed the removal of my video, and my appeal was denied.

To be clear, I believe TikTok should have the legal authority to delete content that it does not wish to host as a platform. However, criticizing the corporation when it makes poor judgments, incorrectly enforces its own stated terms of service, or shuts off genuine public discourse on current events is still fair game.

The Rittenhouse case is a major national story with far-reaching implications for American values including self-defense, criminal justice, and civil rights. Even if a neutral jury vindicates the pro-Rittenhouse stance, TikTok cannot claim to be an open and robust platform if it refuses to enable conservative perspectives on such an important issue. It's little more than a woke echo chamber and leftist misinformation bubble at that point.

This discrepancy is made particularly glaring by the extreme left-wing content routinely allowed on the platform. As I cover in my TikTok reaction series for Rightly on YouTube, viral TikToks are allowed to joke about violence against conservatives and even (satirically, I hope?) advocate for the cannibalization of rich people . I’m not even saying these videos should be censored — but to allow this content to circulate while taking down legitimate conservative arguments in the name of “harassment and bullying” is inconsistent and hypocritical.

At the end of the day, though, taking down one TikTok is hardly a catastrophe. However, this vexing situation is part of Big Tech's larger pattern of censoring and repressing right-of-center opinions on important political matters, which is alarming.

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