Rittenhouse Says He Is Destroying His Gun

Facebook drops ban on Rittenhouse searches
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2021 1:55 PM CST
Facebook Drops Ban on Rittenhouse Searches
Kyle Rittenhouse closes his eyes and cries as he is found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., Friday, Nov. 19, 2021.   (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

Facebook users can now search for Kyle Rittenhouse again. The company has dropped its controversial Rittenhouse ban following the teenager's acquittal on homicide and attempted homicide charges, the BBC reports. Soon after Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured a third during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, Facebook policy director for counterterrorism and dangerous organizations Brian Fishman said the company had designated the shooting as a mass murder and removed Rittenhouse's Facebook and Instagram accounts. They said they had also deleted praise of Rittenhouse and blocked searches for him on the platform.

The search ban was strongly criticized by conservatives. Other social media platforms, including YouTube, did not institute similar bans but treated Rittenhouse content on a case-by-case basis. Andy Stone, a spokesman for parent company Meta, said the Facebook policy was "rolled back" after the verdict and searches for Rittenhouse will now return results, the Washington Post reports. Rittenhouse will be allowed to create a new account and "while we will still remove content that celebrates the death of the individuals killed in Kenosha, we will no longer remove content containing praise or support of Rittenhouse," Stone said in a statement. Fishman announced his departure from Facebook in October.

Rittenhouse, meanwhile, says he is destroying the AR-15-style rifle he used in the Kenosha shooting. NBC News reports that he told conservative podcaster Charlie Kirk Tuesday that the gun was being "destroyed right now" and "we don't want anything to do with that." Rittenhouse told Kirk that he took the stand during the trial because he "wanted the world to know who the real Kyle Rittenhouse was." (Hours after the Kenosha shooting, Rittenhouse's mother told him he should get rid of his social media accounts.)

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