Kyle Rittenhouse, who was fully acquitted of all charges on Friday as the jury read off a total of five “not guilty” decisions, has presumably racked up a massive amount of legal fees. In an attempt to help offset some of those feeds, a GoFundMe fundraiser set up for such purposes was ultimately taken down by the platform for a “policy violation” concerning people accused of “violent crimes.”
According to the Washington Examiner, even after the not guilty verdict was announced, the fundraiser was still banned, which prompted extreme backlash from thousands who said the website was pushing a false narrative. But the pressure to unban the campaign must have worked, as the top fundraising site announced later that it reenabled Rittenhouse’s fundraiser.
Spokespeople for the fundraising site, which allows anyone to chip in for a cause in which they believe, attempted to explain why Rittenhouse’s campaign was initially taken down, which equaled what President Joe Biden would describe as a load of “malarkey.”
“Once charges for a violent crime were brought against Kyle Rittenhouse in 2020, GoFundMe removed fundraisers that were started for the defendant’s legal defense,” the company’s statement explained.
It added: “We did this as part of our regular monitoring efforts; in addition to those fundraisers, our Trust & Safety team removed hundreds of other fundraisers between August and December 2020 — unrelated to Rittenhouse — that we determined were in violation of this long-standing policy.”
However, a number of social media users, including high-profile conservative commentators and even GOP lawmakers, called out the platform for not taking down fundraisers last year related to bail funds raised for violent, law-breaking rioters — even donating money itself to various bail funds, a fact not lost on Fox News’ Dan Bongino, who called the company “cowards.”
— Bongino Report (@BonginoReport) November 19, 2021
Critics pile on
Friday wasn’t a great day for GoFundMe’s reputation, as the company was absolutely dragged on social media for its blatant hypocrisy and obvious favoritism showed for a certain political ideology.
NEVER USE GoFundMe AGAIN. https://t.co/YPwq2escop
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) November 20, 2021
“How many bail funds for people arrested for burning down cities across the country did GoFundMe allow on their platform?” another user wrote.
Others went on to call for a total boycott of the company moving forward, pointing out the fact that a number of competing, similar fundraising platforms exist and should be used instead.
It’s truly unbelievable that GoFundMe, a company that used to have a fairly solid reputation, decided to favor one side over the other. Their decision to allow the Rittenhouse fundraiser to continue simply might not be enough to regain the trust of millions of potential customers.