A student organization claimed to be the subject of "yet another example of social media censorship" after its TikTok video defending Kyle Rittenhouse was deleted.
Young Americans for Liberty, a nonprofit youth libertarian organization, told the Washington Examiner a TikTok video it posted defending Rittenhouse's right to bear arms and to attend Arizona State University was flagged with a "hate speech" violation on Dec. 2. The video was then deleted after the organization submitted an appeal to TikTok asking for additional review.
"TikTok claimed YAL's video supporting Rittenhouse's Second Amendment rights featured 'illegal activities and regulated goods,'" said a statement from Sean Themea, YAL's chief of staff. "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."
Young Americans for Liberty informed the Washington Examiner the TikTok video was reinstated Thursday afternoon and said it suggested media attention made a difference in getting the video reinstated.
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YAL said TikTok "presumably" deleted the video for showing a picture of Rittenhouse holding a gun.
Rittenhouse, 18, attended ASU as an online student until Nov. 29, when it was revealed he is "not currently enrolled in any classes at ASU" and still "has not gone through the ASU admissions process." ASU students held a campus protest on Dec. 1 against Rittenhouse's status as a student despite the news he was no longer enrolled as an online student.
Rittenhouse was found not guilty on Nov. 19 of intentional homicide and other charges related to the fatal shooting of two men and the injuring of a third during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year. On Nov. 30, he said he would destroy the gun he used in the riot.
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TikTok has not responded to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.