TikTok Reportedly Censors Pro-Rittenhouse Video as “Hate Speech”

We have repeatedly addressed how social media companies now openly engage in censorship of political and social viewpoints. The latest example is from the company TikTok which reportedly censored a video from the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) group supporting Kyle Rittenhouse.  The video discusses the effort of Arizona State University (ASU) students to ban Rittenhouse from campus. TikTok then banned the pro-Rittenhouse statement from its platform, an act that should be offensive to anyone who supports the values of free speech. 

On December 1, the group posted a video stating:

“After Kyle Rittenhouse revealed that he had enrolled as an online student at ASU [Arizona State University], the collegiate woke mob was unleashed. 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.”

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.”

Censorship has become an article of faith for many on the left. Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship.

Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.

In one critical hearing, tech CEOs appeared before the Senate to discuss censorship programs. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologized for censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story, but then pledged to censor more people in defense of “electoral integrity.”

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, however, was not happy. He was upset not by the promised censorship but that it was not broad enough.

He noted that it was hard to define the problem of “misleading information,” but the companies had to impose a sweeping system to combat the “harm” of misinformation on climate change as well as other areas. “The pandemic and misinformation about COVID-19, manipulated media also cause harm,” Coons said. “But I’d urge you to reconsider that because helping to disseminate climate denialism, in my view, further facilitates and accelerates one of the greatest existential threats to our world.”

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal also warned that he and his colleagues would not tolerate any “backsliding or retrenching” by “failing to take action against dangerous disinformation.” He demanded “the same kind of robust content modification” from the companies – the new Orwellian term for censorship.

If this account is accurate (and TikTok has not denied it), the company is now censoring statements of support for an individual acquitted by an American jury. It is the latest example of the slippery slope of censorship on social media.

99 thoughts on “TikTok Reportedly Censors Pro-Rittenhouse Video as “Hate Speech””

  1. Not letting a fighter fight just because of his beliefs and attitudes (abstract things) is like not letting a dog play basket ball just because of his species.

  2. China is learning all that it can about American citizens.
    Tik Tok is a Trojan horse.
    The Chinese are laughing at us, like a con-artist who laughs at how stupid and gullible his victims are.

  3. China learning all that it can about American citizens.
    Tik Tok is a Trojan horse.
    The Chinese are laughing at us, like a con-artist who laughs at how stupid and gullible his victims are.

  4. Turley objects because ” the company is now censoring statements of support for an individual. . .”
    The venue is a private company, not a public square where the first amendment guarantees a right to shout your opinion or pass out written objections. The first amendment does not apply here.

    1. Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elizabeth. A private company is subject to libel. Tik Tok has an exemption from libel because the are considered a public square. Are you in favor of a public square in your town where only one side can stand up and speak. I have no objection to your speaking on any forum and as far as I’m concerned you can defend your woke religion all you want. Where I draw the line is when you try to stop me from speaking in the public square. Your private company argument doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    2. EC:

      “Turley objects because ” the company is now censoring statements of support for an individual. . .”
      The venue is a private company, not a public square where the first amendment guarantees a right to shout your opinion or pass out written objections. The first amendment does not apply here.”
      ***********************
      You understand the law of the First Amendment but not the culture of the First Amendment that is equally important. Here’s a primer:

      https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/nulr/vol110/iss5/3/

      Not everything in society is legally defined or protected. Cultural values are inculcated first by families and then by institutions enlightened by the country’s history. Your simplistic and rigid focus only on laws belies this truth. That the law doesn’t protect individuals from private censorship doesn’t make the practice wrong or the victims any less aggrieved. The flag kneeling “protest” was such an expression of, in my view, outrageous insult to the nation but was permitted as it was both privately protected by employers and publicly protected by the First Amendment.

      1. …sounds like you got into a fistfight with Turley on the First Amendment and you got your ass kicked.

        EXTREME 1ST AMEND. BUTTHURT.

  5. No one should use TikTok anyway. It’s one of the many means by which the Chinese government gathers information on Americans.

    https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/03/tiktok-just-gave-itself-permission-to-collect-biometric-data-on-u-s-users-including-faceprints-and-voiceprints/

    “A change to TikTok’s U.S. privacy policy on Wednesday introduced a new section that says the social video app “may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information” from its users’ content. This includes things like “faceprints and voiceprints,” the policy explained.”

    TikTok ludicrously denied that it shares data with the Chinese government. However, under the CCP, the government has access to any company data it wishes.

  6. So what if a fighter has a particular feeling or emotion. Can he fight? That’s the important thing. It’s irrational not to let him do so.

  7. Censorship is a key component of far Leftist doctrine, whether it’s communist North Korea, or the woke mob in the United States. The problem is that these activists are in positions of power, in public schools, universities, and social media.

  8. I’m embarrassed by journalists who suggest that abstractions (thoughts, emotions, feelings, attitudes, etc.) are disqualifiers that are worse than concrete, harmful actions.

    1. In most states the homeowner can legally shoot an unarmed burglar breaking and entering the home while the homeowner is at home.

      But pls remember if a burglar breaks and enters your home and then runs down the street with your TV, you cannot legally use deadly force against that burglar once the burglat steps off your property.

      You can only use enough force necessary to detain said burglar until police arrives.

      You might not like the law, but that’s the law in most states.

      Review this:

      Most criminal defense attorneys, state court judges and prosecutors will tell you that state prisons are full of convicted Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder or deadly assault with a weapon for doing the same thing Rittenhouse did in his instance: intentional use of unreciprocal deadly force.

      If a 17-yr. old black teenager armed with an AR-15 shot to death two white guys and claimed his gunless white victims constituted a deadly threat to him because one guy was armed with a skateboard and the other guy was armed with absolutely nothing at all, that 17-yr. old black teenager would be convicted of murder, that’s for damn sure and certain.

      Again, America’s state prisons are full of black and white Rittenhouses for using unreciprocal deadly force against their murder victims.

      What’s so bad about the Rittenhouse case is the not guilty verdict dangerously misinforms gun owners, especially teenage gun owners and operators – unfortunately, now many gun owners incorrectly believe they enjoy a right to use deadly force and shoot an unarmed person to death if someone verbally threatens the gun owner with assault or even murder.

      Again, state prisons are full of Kyle Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder by a jury – juries who understood the law does not excuse a gun owner who shoots a person to death absent deadly force being used against the shooter. Skateboards have never, ever been recognized by the law as a deadly weapon nor has an unarmed person issuing terroristic threats to a gun owner been legally designated and recognized as constituting deadly force justifying shooting that unarmed person to death.

      The Rittenhouse case was definitely the Exception, and not the rule.

      You probably wouldn’t know that unless you were a criminal defense attorney who has years of experience successfully defending armed and unarmed criminal defendants.

      Some dumbass gun owner will surely AGAIN shoot and kill an unarmed person who issued verbal terroristic threats against the gun owner, and will be convicted of murder, sentenced accordingly and spend the rest of their life in prison telling hiis cellies, “Yeah but Kyle Rittenhouse did it and wasn’t convicted.”

      1. Ron, you said, “Most criminal defense attorneys, state court judges and prosecutors will tell you that state prisons are full of convicted Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder or deadly assault with a weapon for doing the same thing Rittenhouse did in his instance: intentional use of unreciprocal deadly force.”

        That’s a blatantly false statement. The law required Rittenhouse’s acquittal. It wasn’t even a close call. A convicted, mentally unstable pedophile had threatened to kill him, ran him down, and was in the process of grabbing his legally carried gun. Rittenhouse shot him in self defense. A man bashed his head and neck with a skateboard. Rittenhouse shot him in self defense during the assault. A third man pointed a loaded, illegally carried gun point blank at Rittenhouse’s head. Rittenhouse shot him in self defense.

        You’ve claimed that if Rittenhouse were black, he would have been convicted. But that’s your opinion, not a fact.

        Here’s my opinion. Let’s say that Rittenhouse was black. He brought a legal firearm to defend his father’s community from a mob. He handed out water and performed first aid on rioters who made disparaging remarks to him. Separated from his friends, he began to receive death threats. He kept yelling that he was friendly. The crowd became menacing. A convicted pedophile threatened to kill him, and ran him down. He ran, but was trapped in a parking lot, with a mob on either side of him. The pedophile grabbed his gun. He shot and killed him. He jogged to find police to turn himself in. The mob became screaming, “Kill him! Cranium him!” It became a lynch mob. He was brought to the ground. A man jumped and kicked at his head. He shot and missed. Another man bashed his head and neck area with a skateboard, to chants of, “Cranium him!” He shot and killed his attacker. He got up and kept trying to reach the police. A man illegally carrying a loaded handgun pointed it, point blank, at his head. He shot and wounded him. He turned himself in to police.

        You know what would happen if black Rittenhouse had been arrested? There would be nationwide BLM riots. Cities would be looted and burned. He would be an icon of the cause. The mob would be labeled white supremacists. President Joe Biden would have said that if he were black, Rittenhouse would look like Beau or Hunter. Schools and roads would be named after him. There would be statues of him. School children would write essays on black Rittenhouse’s quest for social justice. Parents would be talking to their children about the systemic racism of his arrest. He would be acquitted.

        These weren’t only verbal threats. These were physical assaults.

        Do you seriously not know of the many times a black, Latino, or Asian person has lawfully used a gun in self defense?

        1. I don’t care what a non-lawyer thinks about the Rittenhouse case. Your opinion is so bad and biased you can’t even get the facts straight. Apparently the dog ate your homework.

          1. “I don’t care what a non-lawyer thinks about the Rittenhouse case.”
            **********************
            You ought to. She understands it (and especially the facts) better.

            1. “I don’t care what a non-lawyer thinks about the Rittenhouse case.”

              I know. Juries are so passe.

              That’s an obvious appeal to authority. But let’s run with it. Focus, then, on Turley’s analysis. He’s a criminal defense attorney. Refute his arguments about the KR case.

              (I expect crickets.)

        2. I hope you don’t own a gun because you don’t even know the legal difference between a verbal threat and a physical assault. Just face the jury and answer the question: “Why did you shoot to death the unarmed man issuing verbal terroistic threats to you?”

          Your answer you posted here would get you life in prison if you shot an unarmed person to death for issuing verbal threats to you.

          1. I hope you don’t own a law license, because you don’t even know the legal difference between “immanent threat of grievous bodily harm or death” and just foolin’ around with a skateboard.

      2. “Most criminal defense attorneys, state court judges and prosecutors will tell you that state prisons are full of convicted Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder or deadly assault with a weapon for doing the same thing Rittenhouse did in his instance: intentional use of unreciprocal deadly force.”
        *****************************************************************
        I suppose in your world a loaded handgun pointed directly at you or a steel and wood skateboard smashed into the back of your head doesn’t constitute a display of deadly force. Luckily, here in the real world, juries understand that they clearly are deadly and remind us when the opportunity presents as in State v. Rittenhouse.

        As for your assertion that “most” crim law practitioners would back your statement, I suppose its possible just not in this country where self-defense (even if mistaken) is a complete defense. If you know any, please tell me so I can open up a boutique crim law firm across the street from them. Finally, do you know what the word “unreciprocal” means? I don’t. I know what “non-reciprocal” means. Maybe you’ve got some substandard word usage going on which would make sense given your substandard understanding of criminal law.

        1. “wood skateboard smashed into the back of your head doesn’t constitute a display of deadly force.”

          In his fantasy world, that’s merely an assault. You’re supposed to wait for the skateboard-wielder to kill you, then it’s permissible to defend yourself with deadly force.

          Oh, wait.

      3. Ron, the worst lies are lies by omission. One of the guys who were shot pointed his pistol at Rittenhouse. You minimize the damage a skate board can do to your skull. The third attacker tried repeatedly to kick Rittenhouse in the head. I guess you missed the video of the guy pointing his pistol at Rittenhouse. I guess you also missed the part where the guy with the pistol admitted in court that he pointed it at Rittenhouse. Your uninformed opinion should not be taken seriously. Then again, maybe you are completely informed but dance about twisting the facts to meet your narrative. If you hadn’t written so profusely I could have given you the benefit of the doubt as to your motives but the words you have scribed reveal your aspirations.

      4. “If a 17-yr. old black teenager armed with an AR-15 shot to death two white guys and claimed his gunless white victims constituted a deadly threat to him because one guy was armed with a skateboard and the other guy was armed with absolutely nothing at all, that 17-yr. old black teenager would be convicted of murder, that’s for damn sure and certain. Again, America’s state prisons are full of black and white Rittenhouses for using unreciprocal deadly force against their murder victims.”

        Why do you have to resort to a hypothetical black seventeen year old who was convicted? If “America’s state prisons are full of black Rittenhouses,” why don’t you deign to name a few?

        “Skateboards have never, ever been recognized by the law as a deadly weapon nor has an unarmed person issuing terroristic threats to a gun owner been legally designated and recognized as constituting deadly force justifying shooting that unarmed person to death.”

        When you’re riding it down the street, it’s a skateboard. When you’re wielding it with your hands as a laminated wooden and metal cudgel, it’s a weapon. Can you please produce your fifty state survey of criminal decisional authorities which proves your proposition that skateboards are no big deal to get hit with on the head please? The fact is that Rittenhouse had a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death in those circumstances (it was not one-on-one combat between a rifle and a skateboard, but rather a swarming mob attack while Rittenhouse was running towards the police in order to dispense street justice before he could reach the police). The nature of the weapon is relevant, not dispositive. Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges of murdering the skateboard wielding Huber, so I would state that you’re 0 for 1.

      5. Skateboards have never, ever been recognized by the law as a deadly weapon nor has an unarmed person issuing terroristic threats to a gun owner been legally designated and recognized as constituting deadly force justifying shooting that unarmed person to death.

        Given the fact Rittenhouse was tried in a court of law and found not guilty on count 4 by a jury, clearly the law has now recognized skateboards as a potentially deadly weapon and that deadly force is justified in defense of that force.

        What else you got?

        1. It’s silly that he thinks that, as an apparent lawyer, there is no difference between “immanent threat of grievous bodily harm or death” and “deadly weapon.” While a “deadly weapon” is likely to contribute to the perception of the likelihood of injury or death of someone asserting the defense of self defense, there are instances where unarmed attackers pose a threat of “immanent grievous bodily harm or death.” (As in when they’re wrestling with you for possession of your rifle, swarming to attack you to prevent you from reaching the police, or using improvised weapons to attack you).

          1. I wish it was merely silly. He is supposedly a lawyer, presumably licensed and having sworn under oath to the pursuit of justice in our American system. His comments belie those ends.

      6. @Ron,

        Your post is so full of misinformation that its laughable.

        Rittenhouse was attempting to retreat from the area when he tripped and was subsequently attacked. One black male attempted to stomp on him. Now this male had no weapon but his boots. Is he not a threat? Could not Rittenhouse use lethal force to protect himself? Note he wasn’t brought forward by the prosecution because they didn’t drop some of his outstanding charges like they did for Gage. (Who BTW admitted under oath that Rittenhouse fired once his own illegal pistol was pointed at Rittenhouse.)

        You are just as clueless as many on the limits and use of lethal force allowed to protect yourself and or others.

        Based on the evidence presented in court. Rittenhouse is not the exception he is the norm.
        The video evidence alone would be enough exonerate him, however w the affirmative defense of ‘self defense’, he also had to show that he wasn’t the instigator. That he didn’t antagonize the nut job to charge him. (While the video showed the nutter stalking Rittenhouse it was the additional testimony from others including evidence that he took a flaming dumpster and pushed it into an occupied police car.)

        From that point on, Rittenhouse use of lethal force was done to protect himself from the mob. And yes, a skateboard can be used as a deadly weapon. Just as a club, stick, hammer, screwdriver, golf club, tennis racket, frying pan… all can be used to kill.

        -G

      7. Trust me, it someone is beating me in the head with a skateboard, 2×4, baseball bat, or any other wooden object I WILL shoot them, and there isn’t a jury in the country that won’t believe I feared for my life. in most sane jurisdictions there wouldn’t be charges filed in the first place.

  9. Turley is correct inasmuch as championing free speech over censorship. Thomas Jefferson said the answer to free speech you don’t like is for you to respond in kind – using your First Amendment right to free speech to counter any argument. However, public threats of violence and hate speech are not covered by First Amendment protections.
    Turley is a great federal civil attorney with great experience and success as a federal civil attorney. When Turley speaks about civil law I am always impressed and happy with his public explanations of federal civil law.

    BUTT, I am not impressed with Turley’s attempt at analyzing criminal law when it came to the Rittenhouse case.

    Most criminal defense attorneys, state court judges and prosecutors will tell you that state prisons are full of convicted Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder or deadly assault with a weapon for doing the same thing Rittenhouse did in his instance: intentional use of unreciprocal deadly force.

    If a 17-yr. old black teenager armed with an AR-15 shot to death two white guys and claimed his gunless white victims constituted a deadly threat to him because one guy was armed with a skateboard and the other guy was armed with absolutely nothing at all, that 17-yr. old black teenager would be convicted of murder, that’s for damn sure and certain.

    Again, America’s state prisons are full of black and white Rittenhouses for using unreciprocal deadly force against their murder victims.

    What’s so bad about the Rittenhouse case is the not guilty verdict dangerously misinforms gun owners, especially teenage gun owners and operators – unfortunately, now many gun owners incorrectly believe they enjoy a right to use deadly force and shoot an unarmed person to death if someone verbally threatens the gun owner with assault or even murder.

    Again, state prisons are full of Kyle Rittenhouses who were convicted of murder by a jury – juries who understood the law does not excuse a gun owner who shoots a person to death absent deadly force being used against the shooter. Skateboards have never, ever been recognized by the law as a deadly weapon nor has an unarmed person issuing terroristic threats to a gun owner been legally designated and recognized as constituting deadly force justifying shooting that unarmed person to death.

    The Rittenhouse case was definitely the Exception, and not the rule.

    You probably wouldn’t know that unless you were a criminal defense attorney who has years of experience successfully defending armed and unarmed criminal defendants.

    Some dumbass gun owner will surely AGAIN shoot and kill an unarmed person who issued verbal terroristic threats against the gun owner, and will be convicted of murder, sentenced accordingly and spend the rest of their life in prison telling hiis cellies, “Yeah but Kyle Rittenhouse did it and wasn’t convicted.”

    1. BUTT, I am not impressed with Turley’s attempt at analyzing criminal law when it came to the Rittenhouse case.
      ****************************
      Oh please ron, tell us about every criminal jury trial you handled to verdict and then regale us those epic criminal appeals (if you had the former, I’m certain there were the latter) you won! Finally, please catalog all of the crim law cases you’ve taught and law review articles you’ve written to publication so we will take your opinion over that of JT’s.

      All opinions may be valid but some suck. Like yours.

      Funny Aside: Since we’re talking Freudian slips in the other thread, I couldn’t help noticing a verbal one you typed: “BUTT, I ….”

      1. I typed “BUTT” on purpose, as in, “You sound like BUTTHEAD replying to my comment with with your 7th grade writing style.”

        You sound like you have great experience as an ARRESTED PERSON and defendant in a criminal proceeding and washing your underwear in the County Jail.

        1. @Ron,
          Clearly you don’t have a grasp on the law as much as you think you do.

          The only thing that could have nailed Rittenhouse was the law concerning the possession of the rifle.
          If memory serves, that law was modified when Wisconsin allowed the private ownership of NFA weapons. (Class III things like select fire and suppressors.) That third paragraph was poorly written.

          Outside of that… Rittenhouse was a clear cut case of self defense.

          -Gumby

    2. “Some dumbass gun owner will surely AGAIN shoot and kill an unarmed person who issued verbal terroristic threats against the gun owner, and will be convicted of murder, sentenced accordingly and spend the rest of their life in prison telling hiis cellies, ‘Yeah but Kyle Rittenhouse did it and wasn’t convicted.'”

      LOL dude you’re leaving out the part where the guy who threatened to kill Rittenhouse then chased him as he retreated and attempted to wrest Rittenhouse’s rifle away from him.

  10. Just waiting for the first s@@tlib to say this or censorship in general is commendable and justified.

    antonio

  11. Anonymous, was that meant to be a joke? It was funnier than Santa, Inc. It has been well-documented that the Left is much more prone to silence people, violently even, than the Right.

  12. I am reminded of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill, “We have information, they have propaganda.”

    I believe that ASU lost its spine and announced that Rittenhouse had been unenrolled from his online classes. Not only is this cowardly but it smells like discrimination by denying Rittenhouse the right to an education. We should wonder about the university attorney who provided the opinion to support the schools action.

    1. @William,
      Absolutely its discrimination.
      Rittenhouse was found not guilty. He’s got a clean slate.

      He’s got a very strong case against ASU, depending on if he was already accepted as a student.

      -G

  13. ASU is a state supported school and needs to allow the kid to maintain his status. I suppose the college can create a “digital safe space” for those who feel threatened by someone who is hundreds of miles away

    Is this becoming the modern version of the Scarlet Letter?

  14. No-one wanted that brat Rittenhouse disciplined more than me, but the law is the law, and free speech is free speech, with obvious exceptions of libel, terrorism, perjury and incitement to crime. Rittenhouse was acquitted and anyone should be free to express their opinion on the matter, as I have just done.

    1. Disciplined for what? He was acquitted of murder as a consequence of the defense of self defense. You would see him disciplined for self defense? And he’s not a “brat” – if you read anything about his background, you’d learn that he has had a rather difficult blue collar upbringing bereft of any great privileges or opportunities.

      1. Rittenhouse is a brat because he went into the midst of a demo, loaded for bear, with an unlicensed firearm, fatally shot two people, and gave life-changing injuries to a third. He had no business doing the job of police. Vigilantism rarely ends well, as in this case. That the court acquitted him means this is now ok for other teenagers wtih unlicensed firearms to enter large crowds and kill people. Legal precedent, and all that.

    2. “. . . that brat Rittenhouse disciplined . . .”

      How about disciplining the politicians and DA’s who allow barbarians to rule our streets?!

      I’d suggest relegating them to dog catcher, but then they’d just release rabid animals into our neighborhoods.

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