GoFundMe Lifts Rittenhouse Ban After Acquittal Kyle Rittenhouse reacts as he is found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 19, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Sean Krajacic – Pool/Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Sunday, 21 November 2021 11:06 AM
GoFundMe has lifted the ban on defense fundraisers on behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse after the 18-year-old was acquitted in his self-defense trial Friday.
The fundraising platform had banned Rittenhouse legal defense fundraisers because he was accused of a violent crime, but since he is exonerated from homicide charges of killing two of his attackers and injuring a third, it lifted that ban, issuing a statement about his violent crime fundraising ban Friday.
"If someone is acquitted of those charges, as Rittenhouse was today, a fundraiser started subsequently for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy," the statement read. "A fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser."
On the surface, GoFundMe moves to ban Rittenhouse seems principled, but Fox News reported the policy was inconsistently used against Rittenhouse and not against others alleged to have committed violent crimes.
One such similar case is that of Marc Wilson, who is claiming self-defense for having shot and killed a 17-year-old girl in an alleged road-rage incident, according to Fox News.
Wilson is on trial for murder, but his page has remained active after being created just a few days after Rittenhouse fundraisers were banned on the GoFundMe platform, according to the report.
GoFundMe did not respond to Fox News' requests for comment.
"We are monitoring our site for related fundraisers to try to verify, as we do for all events that have widespread attention, that the funds are going to the intended recipient and that the fundraiser is within our Terms of Service," the GoFundMe statement on lifting Rittenhouse's ban concluded. "This process takes time and may slow down the withdrawal process. If the fundraiser does violate our Terms of Service or does not directly benefit the intended beneficiary, we will remove it from the platform."