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Thursday, 3 September 2020

Facebook bans links to fundraiser for Kyle Rittenhouse but allows legal defense funds for others — including convicted murderers, accused murderers, and rioters

Facebook has banned users from sharing a crowdfunding link to assist with the legal fees for 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged with homicide last week following fatal shootings that occurred during a riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

But the site allows posts asking for fundraising for several other individuals who have been charged with crimes — including murder — leaving questions about what Facebook uses to determine its community standards and why Rittenhouse — who is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a legal defense team just like every other American — is apparently being singled out.

What are the details?

Rittenhouse is accused of killing two men and injuring a third on Aug. 25 during the third night of riots in Kenosha, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man. His attorney claims the teen came under attack from rioters and that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense.

The Washington Times reported Tuesday:
Online fundraisers were made for the teen's legal defense shortly after he was identified as the suspect, but they quickly vanished from fundraising platforms including GoFundMe.

GoFundMe said campaigns for Mr. Rittenhouse violated its terms of service but did not explain further. A campaign on rival service Fundly disappeared without explanation as well.

A fundraiser for Rittenhouse launched at Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo has raised nearly $334,000 as of this writing, but Facebook has banned the link from being shared. If any user attempts to share a link to the fundraiser, an error pops up telling the user that the link violates Facebook's community standards, but does not offer an explanation. However, other GiveSendGo fundraisers can be posted to the social media platform.

TheBlaze reached out to Facebook asking for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Facebook allows links for other fundraisers

Meanwhile, Facebook still allows links to fundraisers for others who have been accused of crimes, including:
  • Marc Wilson, 21, who was charged with felony murder after killing a 17-year-old girl. Wilson also remains behind bars, and the GoFundMe for him claims he was acting in self-defense after being accosted by "a truckload of angry white men."
  • GoFundMe started by far-left filmmaker Michael Moore, to support individuals prosecuted for taking part in tearing down monuments.
  • The GoFundMe for Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of deceased Breonna Taylor, who was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer but the charges were later dropped. Walker also claims he was acting in self-defense, and his legal team is asking a "court to ensure they won't be filed again," according to CBS News.
  • The Minnesota Freedom Fund, promoted on Twitter by Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), bails out people who were arrested during rioting. According to KMSP-TV, this fund "has bailed out defendants from Twin Cities jails charged with murder, violent felonies, and sex crimes."
  • A PDX Protest Bail Fund that has raised more than $1.3 million for rioters in Portland, Oregon, who admit on their GoFundMe that "as the number of reported arrests rise ... the severity of the charges have increased."
  • The legal defense fund for "Tsunami," described as "an Afrolatinx transgender woman" accused of killing a man who the defendant says allegedly raped her. According to the text of the GoFundMe campaign, Tsunami was convicted by a jury, but is also claiming she acted in self-defense.

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