Kyle Rittenhouse plans to sue Mark Zuckerberg for defamation.
Zuckerberg is the target of one of “at least 10” lawsuits he is considering, his attorney told Fox News Thursday morning.
During chaotic civil rights protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020, Rittenhouse killed two and wounded a third. At the criminal trial the following year, a jury found him not guilty of murder and attempted murder.
After his acquittal, Rittenhouse launched a fundraiser to “hold the media accountable in court.”
In February, Rittenhouse told Tucker Carlson he could sue politicians, celebrities and athletes. “Whoopi Goldberg’s on the list,” he said. “She called me a ‘killer’ after I was acquitted by a jury of peers. She continued to say that still.”
His attorney says Facebook founder Zuckerberg is now at the top of the list.
According to Rittenhouse’s attorney Todd McMurtry, Facebook and Instagram tagged posts with a disclaimer calling the shootings a “mass murder.”
“It wasn’t mass murder. It was clearly factually incorrect,” McMurtry told Fox. “To call someone a mass murderer is a serious libel.”
After the murders, Facebook banned praise of Rittenhouse and blocked searches of his name. The company lifted this rule after his acquittal. Facebook can claim immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, but it may not apply to statements made by the platform itself about Rittenhouse.
McMurtry previously represented a student at Covington Catholic High School in his defamation lawsuits related to comments and coverage of viral videos of him during an anti-choice event in 2019.
McMurtry said they will find that Rittenhouse’s job prospects have plummeted and that he has suffered lasting reputational damage.
“Kyle will never interact with anyone he doesn’t know who they are. And that will be with him for the rest of his life,” McMurtry said.
Accusing someone of a crime they did not commit is generally considered defamation per se, meaning that it is not necessary to prove that they were harmed by the statement in order to receive compensation.
Rittenhouse’s case may be complicated by the question of whether he is a public figure of limited purpose. The Digital Media Law Project describes a public figure of limited purpose as either someone “who voluntarily becomes a key figure in a particular controversy” or “who has risen to prominence in a specific, limited area, but whose fame is not at an all-encompassing level.” has reached .”
This only applies to the subject for which the plaintiff has become a public figure with a purpose, in this case shooting.
Rittenhouse stated that the outcome of the case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard partly inspired him to proceed with plans for a lawsuit. On Wednesday, the court found that both Depp and his ex-wife Heard had defamed the other. However, Depp is largely seen as the winner in the lawsuit because the court awarded him higher damages.
“The Johnny Depp trial is just driving me, you can stand up to the lies in the media, and you should!” Rittenhaus tweeted after the verdict. The tweet included a link to his fundraiser.
Facebook did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
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*Initial publication: June 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm CDT
Claire Goforth is a staff writer at the Daily Dot and covers all topics related to politics and technology with a focus on right-wing extremism and conspiracy theories.
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/kyle-rittenhouse-defamation-suit-mark-zuckerberg-facebook/ Kyle Rittenhouse plans to sue Mark Zuckerberg for defamation