As closing arguments are made today in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, Youtube has shut down all independent streams and commentary covering the case. The streams were taken down for supposed “policy violations” of Youtubes terms of service, some speculate that it was due to copyright infringements. The Wisconsin National Guard has deployed 500 troops in preparation for the verdict. After facing pressure from on social media, YouTube reinstated some streams of the trial for part of the closing arguments.
Youtube and other social media outlets have faced criticism in the past year for censoring news related to the Rittenhouse trial. This week, Rittenhouse’s mother made a statement on Twitter decying big tech censorship and efforts to prevent people from donating to Rittenhouse’s defense fund. “The media & many who know better viciously lied about my son from he start. Tech companies tried to crush & deplatform @freekyleusa over 20x, often w/o explanation,” wrote Wendy Rittenhouse. “We are facing tremendous expenses to help Kyle win this case & could use your help,” she continued. Twitter prevented users from retweeting her statement. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene pushed back against Twitter, saying “Twitter has disabled the RT button on #KyleRittenhouse’s mother’s tweet telling about extreme censorship,” wrote Greene. “Communism in America is real.”
In the wake of the Kenosha riots, social media companies suppressed information that proved Rittenhouse’s innocence. Twitter suspended the accounts of people who defended Rittenhouse, including his own defense attorney. Facebook said that it designated this shooting as a mass murder and … removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram.” The platform also blocked searches for “Kyle Rittenhouse.” The jury is expected to begin deliberations in the Rittenhouse later today after closing arguments.