Kyle Rittenhouse took to social media on Monday to reveal that Instagram is claiming his name is a "violation of community standards." Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges in November of last year after he exercised his Second Amendment rights to defend himself during the Kenosha riots.
Shortly after Rittenhouse was found not guilty, Meta reversed a previous decision to not allow Rittenhouse to have accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Meta had also implemented a policy that blocked Rittenhouse’s name from searches on the social media sites in August of 2020, following the Kenosha incident. Countless journalists and influencers who posted content of Rittenhouse, including footage of his testimony from his trial, were hit with content removals and account strikes.
Despite Meta officials previously claiming these policies had been reversed, it appears Rittenhouse is still facing censorship from the Big Tech giant due to who he is and what he went through. Rittenhouse posted on Monday that he is still not allowed to use his name, Kyle Rittenhouse, on his public Instagram page.
"My name is still a violation to [Instagram] community standards," Rittenhouse said in an Instagram story post. The post was accompanied by a screenshot of Rittenhouse attempting to add his name to his profile and receiving an error message from Instagram saying, "Try again later. We restrict certain activity to protect our community."
Ron Coleman, a partner at the Dhillon Law Group, commented on the issue telling "It's really weird that it comes down this way, that someone's actual name is like Voldemort, unspeakable, but that's the box that Instagram has put themselves in."
In February of this year, Rittenhouse announced the launch of the Media Accountability Project, a foundation created by Rittenhouse and his team to "help fundraise and hold the media accountable for the lies they said and deal with them in court."
Shortly after posting about being prohibited from using his name on Instagram, Rittenhouse joined Tucker Carlson to discuss the growing likelihood of legal action. Rittenhouse stated the legal action would be against various media companies and social media giants saying, "We are going to make the media pay for what they did to me."
Rittenhouse explained to Tucker Carlson just how difficult those who defamed him and deemed him guilty before proven innocent have made his life: "They made it hard for me to live a normal life. I can't go out into public. I can't go to the store. It’s hard for me to go anywhere without security. Doing basic things like taking my dog to the dog park is difficult. They made it really difficult to be normal, and they affected future job opportunities to me. I don’t think I will ever be able to work or get a job because I'm afraid an employer may not hire me."
Coleman laid out some potential roadblocks to Rittenhouse pursuing legal remedy saying, "Litigation for him may only keep the negative association of his name rolling because he's going to lose a lot of cases. The cases are going to get a lot of negative coverage from the Media."
The key to avoiding this, says Coleman, is the right attorney, "If Kyle has the right lawyer who can chart out a roadmap to using the legal system in a novel way so that he can get some relief from his reputation problem, then he should definitely do that."
Rittenhouse's current attorney, Todd McMurtry seemed assured about pursuing the media and various figures for defaming his client, telling Carlson, "I think that we have some strong grounds to proceed. We are looking at… We're starting to look at all those. We're going to evaluate them and look at opportunities to hold the media and to hold tech accountable as Kyle's promised."
Despite the grueling battles Rittenhouse has had to endure from the media and public, Rittenhouse got on stage for a packed venue at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest to tell a crowd of students to "always be humble and look at the positive in life."
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