One of the world’s largest internet companies stopped key evidence from spreading about the full intentions of a northern Illinois teen, who was accused of shooting anti-police demonstrators on August 25.
Facebook’s moderation team quickly removed a handheld video showing Antioch, Illinois, resident, Kyle Rittenhouse coming to the aid of people who were wounded during extreme anarchist protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“Facebook just removed a video I posted showing Kyle Rittenhouse offering help to a wounded protester in Kenosha and are threatening to delete my entire account,” political author Mark Dice said on Twitter.
The offending video showed a group of people walking down a quiet suburban street. Rittenhouse appears on screen and can be heard identifying himself as an emergency medical technician (EMT) and offering to help stabilize their medical conditions.
“I am an EMT, what have we got?” the teenager can be heard saying. “I am an EMT, if you are injured come to me. You got any injuries? Bring them over here, we have got a medic.”
Although the content did not appear to encourage violence Facebook confirmed it is officially classifying the 17-year-old’s actions as “mass murder” and removing any content that appears to support him. Rittenhouse has so far not been found guilty of murder by any court.
“We have designated the shooting in Kenosha a mass murder and are removing posts in support of the shooter, including this one,” a Facebook spokesperson said according to Breitbart.
However, a screenshot of the now-deleted Facebook post does not appear to take any position on the shootings.
“Newly uncovered video of Kyle Rittenhouse shows him helping an injured protester after she was struck in the foot with a projectile,” Dice said. “In another video, he told the cameraman that he brought a medical kit, which is the bag he was carrying. Further proving he had no malicious intent by showing up. In fact, he was there to help anyone who needed it.”
Dice believes he took every reasonable step to present the new evidence in a neutral tone, and Facebook’s moderation team simply overreacted.
“[The posts] were all very matter of fact about what happened,” he told the publication. “[There was neither] praise nor celebration, nothing like that because I figured that they added Kyle to the ‘dangerous individual’ [list] … I was very careful about what I posted.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and promised to use his $671 billion company to play a “positive role” in fighting “racial injustice” in America.
“To members of our black community: I stand with you, your lives matter, black lives matter,” he said on Facebook. “I believe our platforms will play a positive role in this but we have work to do to make sure our role is as positive as possible … I am looking forward to making progress together over the coming weeks and months.”