TikTok deletes — then restores — journalist’s protection of Kyle Rittenhouse with out rationalization
A Washington Examiner columnist said he was “censored” by TikTok after a video he posted in defense of Kyle Rittenhouse was removed from the platform.
Brad Polumbo, a political correspondent for the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote in a comment on Monday that a short video he posted on TikTok over the weekend defending Rittenhouse was “bizarrely” removed because it was against the “harassment.” – and bullying ”guideline of the app had violated. The video was later restored without any explanation from the company.
Rittenhouse, 18, was charged with murder after shooting three people and killing two in a riot at Black Lives Matter, Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. A jury found him not guilty on several counts last week after his lawyers alleged he acted in self-defense.
On Sunday, Polumbo posted a TikTok video in which he argued that the Rittenhouse case exposed the hypocrisy of many people on the left who support criminal justice reform, but demanded that the judge and jury unfairly throw the book at Rittenhouse.
“Hakeem Jeffries, a progressive congressman, literally tweeted while the process was still going on: ‘Lock up Kyle Rittenhouse and throw away the key.’ And he’s the same guy who railed against mass incarceration – and I agree with him sometimes – but now, before the trial was over, they demanded that this guy be locked up and the key thrown away … as if they’d already gotten to him and them lied that it was “white supremacy” when a white guy shot other white people [thing]”Said Polumbo.
He continued, “You don’t have to think he’s a hero who got everything right and made amazing decisions, or he’s an evil white racist who should go to jail. The truth is, I would never put my teenager in one Let the riot go. ” Zone with a gun – that was a bad decision – but for the moment he was defending himself. He was not a mass shooter of white supremacy and he should be acquitted. ”
After posting the message, Polumbo reported on Twitter that his video had been removed from TikTok for violating the platform’s “harassment and bullying” policy.
– Brad Polumbo ud83c uddfa ud83c uddf8 u26bd ufe0f ud83c udff3 ufe0f u200d ud83c udf08 (@Brad Polumbo ud83c uddfa ud83c uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud udff u200d ud83c udf08) 1637547067
His appeal was examined and rejected by TikTok.
“What part of that is ‘bullying’ or ‘harassment’ of any kind?” asked Polumbo in his comment.
“And TikTok’s bizarre censorship decision wasn’t a mistake or an error,” he added. “I appealed the removal of my video and my appeal was denied.”
TikTok’s Community Guidelines on Harassment and Bullying say the company “believes in an inclusive community and individualized expression without fear of abuse.”
“We do not tolerate members of our community being embarrassed, bullied or harassed. Abusive content or behavior can cause severe psychological stress and will be removed from our platform, ”says the company.
The website prohibits content that offends or belittles other people because of their appearance or intelligence, encourages coordinated harassment, belittles victims of violent tragedy, engages in intimidation or cyberstalking, or causes death or serious illness to another person or public figure or want some other serious damage. TikTok also prohibits sexual harassment, hacking, doxing, and extortion.
It is not clear which of these guidelines were violated by Polumbo’s video. TikTok did not respond to a request for comment from The Blaze.
Polumbo told The Blaze that he didn’t really mind having just his video tagged by an algorithm.
“What knocks me out is that someone reviewed my appeal and decided that my video, which makes extremely mainstream arguments about the case, is ‘harassment and bullying,'” he said. “That shows how distorted the woken up information bubble these people operate in is.”
After his appeal was initially denied, Polumbo said Monday that TikTok had restored his video “without notice / notification from you of the deletion or denial of the appeal”.
I appreciate it, but that doesn’t solve the problem. n nMost people don’t have a blue tick or big accounts to RT to get attention and reverse absurd censorship decisions. n nYou have to deal with your bias so that this kind of madness doesn’t happen again.
– Brad Polumbo ud83c uddfa ud83c uddf8 u26bd ufe0f ud83c udff3 ufe0f u200d ud83c udf08 (@Brad Polumbo ud83c uddfa ud83c uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud uddf8 u26bud udff u200d ud83c udf08) 1637616949
While grateful that his video is back, Polumbo insisted that other people who have been wronged by social media censorship do not have the reach or influence that a verified journalist like him would like to TikTok or any other company Must put pressure to lift their censorship.
“How many random people deleted their opinions on Rittenhouse but can’t undo them because they’re not Blue Check journalists?” he observed.
“That kind of inconsistency is really awful.”