TikTok's removes pro-Kyle Rittenhouse video posted by libertarian group

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In media news today, The New York Times catches fire for a headline saying the Fox News Christmas tree ‘catches fire,’ social media has fun with Hillary Clinton’s invitation to ‘MasterClass’ lesson, and USA Today gets mocked for asking if math is racist.

The Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) group, a youth libertarian organization, said its recent video in support of Kyle Rittenhouse was censored by TikTok.

On December 1, the group posted a video responding to the news that Arizona State University students were protesting Rittenhouse attending their school. The protesting students referred to Rittenhouse – acquitted last month on homicide charges after he said he acted in self-defense during unrest in Kenosha, Wis. – as a “murderer” who posed a threat to the student body.

The TikTok logo is seen on an iPhone 11 Pro max in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on September 29, 2020. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“After Kyle Rittenhouse revealed that he had enrolled as an online student at ASU [Arizona State University], the collegiate woke mob was unleashed,” the video began. “A coalition of student groups has started a campaign to demand that Kyle Rittenhouse be expelled from ASU, citing that he is a violent racist murderer and poses a threat to the whole student body.”


The video featured YAL’s marketing strategist Brett Cooper, who was criticizing the students protesting, noting that Rittenhouse was acquitted of his murder charges. Rittenhouse shot three men, killing two, during the Kenosha riots in 2020 and successfully argued he acted in self-defense.

“First of all, he was acquitted. And second of all, he was enrolled as an online student. Therefore, he will never interact with any of these social justice warriors. Therefore, they are trying to deny this young man a college education simply because they disagree with his beliefs and his actions. That is a dangerous precedent to set,” Cooper concluded.

POLAND – 2021/09/23: In this photo illustration a TikTok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In an exclusive statement to Fox News, YAL said the video was flagged one day later on Dec. 2 with a “hate speech” violation. After attempting to submit an appeal for the violation, the video was deleted altogether twenty minutes later.

According to YAL, no explanation has been given for the removal of the video beyond accusing it of containing “illegal activities and regulated goods,” likely referring to the image of Rittenhouse carrying his gun.

Kyle Rittenhouse on the night of Aug. 25, 2020, and in Kenosha County Court
(Associated Press)

YAL’s chief of staff Sean Themea added in a statement, “As if the Left’s unhinged hatred for Kyle Rittenhouse hadn’t already reached ridiculous heights, TikTok has proven itself to be a catalyst for the same kind of leftist censorship that has overrun platforms like Facebook and Twitter. TikTok claimed YAL’s video supporting Rittenhouse’s Second Amendment rights featured ‘illegal activities and regulated goods.’ But just like it is not illegal to defend oneself from Antifa thugs, it is not illegal to post videos about the right to defend oneself from Antifa thugs.”

TikTok didn’t return a request for comment. The video can still be viewed on YAL’s YouTube channel.

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