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Kyle Rittenhouse Receives Support As Well As Condemnation On Social Media – Forbes



It has been another day of dueling hashtags on Twitter, as both #KyleRittenhouseIsGuilty and #FreeKyleRittenhouse were trending as the trial of the 18-year-old continued in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was charged with killing two people – Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber – and wounding a third, Gaige Grosskreutz.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, claims he acted in self-defense during protests against police violence in August 2020.

Even before the trial had begun, Rittenhouse had supporters and detractors across social media, but it was following his testimony on Wednesday that the differing opinions truly made the rounds on Twitter. Unfortunately, a lot of the tweets were not from legal experts.

Numerous images and facts have been presented, oftentimes without context.’s Tara Dublin (@taradublinrocks) shared a photo of the then 17-year-old with an AR-15, captioned, “This is a picture of a not at all innocent person #KyleRittenhouseIsGuilty.”

Author Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) defended the 18-year-old and offered a factoid of the three victims and tweeted, “If you would like to check the stats of the two white people who Kyle Rittenhouse shot in obvious self-defense— here you go. Our FBI knew Kyle was innocent. Our media knew Kyle was innocent. They all allowed a teenager to suffer horribly and publicly to feed the BLM lie.”

Those were just two examples of the types of tweets that were making the rounds on Thursday, where the context is lost or some of the information wasn’t entirely accurate.

Yet, these and other tweets continued to present the “facts” of the case.

“A lot of misinformation that is shared on social media is actually a tiny grain of the truth that gets amplified so that those who see it believe it to be completely true,” warned Prof. Ericka Menchen-Trevino, assistant professor in the School of Communication at the American University in Washington, D.C.

“It isn’t really that hard to debunk misinformation on social media, but it is harder to explain the subtitles in how some of it is presented,” said Menchen-Trevino.

“Anytime we have these smoke screens on social media we need to remember that it is really people sharing their opinion – not their educated opinion – and they’re not looking to present the facts,” added Jason Mollica, professorial lecturer, also in the American University School of Communication. “The general public that is looking to get their news from Twitter or any other social network isn’t really bothering to look at the real story. They’re looking for the quick nuggets and the headlines that can be easily consumed.”

Increasingly this is why social media isn’t really all that trusted – because it is so difficult to tell what is real or not.

Yet, as has been seen this week, social media has the potential to impact the legal system, at least indirectly. Already, movies and TV shows have impacted what those serving on juries expect to see – this includes the “CSI Effect,” where some have had higher expectations about scientific evidence than what they actually see in a court case.

Social media could present a new trial as potential jurors could be exposed to such “facts.” Even if directed not to read about a case, such information could show up in one’s social feeds.

“It is impossible now for facts of a case not to get out,” said Mollica. “It could be tough to find a truly impartial person.”

The Celebrities Impact

Even if juries aren’t swayed by social media, the public could be – especially if it is shared by someone who is held in high regard. One particular tweet regarding the Rittenhouse case came from the NBA’s LeBron James (@KingJames), who responded to the 18-year-old’s testimony, during which the young defendant broke down in tears.

“What tears????? I didn’t see one. Man knock it off! That boy ate some lemon heads before walking into court,” James, who has remained a vocal black rights activist, tweeted on Wednesday evening.

That tweet, which featured a trio of laughing emojis, was liked more than 200,000 times and had been retweeted more than 30,000 times. However, not everyone agreed with him. Many called out James, saying his was an inappropriate response.

“You’re literally known as the king of faking injuries, flopping, and crying to refs. Maybe sit this one out?” tweeted conservative podcaster Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips).

James is hardly the first celebrity to jump on a bandwagon, yet the question could be asked what credibility he or others have on such issues.

“There are plenty of celebrities including actors, athletes and influencers who simply feel the need to weigh in on these things,” said Mollica. “A lot of people who then follow the celebrity will blindly hit like or retweet. Fortunately, a lot will not.”

In this case, James’ opinion likely won’t matter, even as plenty of celebrities weigh-in where they think they have an opinion – one that certainly isn’t educated in the least.

“And, we’ve also seen a lot of celebrities who have had to walk back what they posted on social media,” said Mollica.

Prof. Menchen-Trevino offered a final takeaway to the response that the Rittenhouse case is receiving, “Not every trial gets this year of social media attention. Most are hardly noticed. And for the general public, a lot of people prefer to tune it out.”

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Montréal Massacre anniversary: The media must play a key role in fighting femicide – The Conversation CA



On Dec. 6, 1989, an act of violent misogyny killed 14 young women at École Polytechnique at Université of Montréal.

This mass femicide, though carried out by a lone male, grew out of a societal environment of gender inequity, misogyny, colonialism, racism and other intersecting systems of oppression.

Femicide, which refers to the sex/gender-related killings of women and girls, does not occur out of the blue. Although media often portray femicides as spontaneous “crimes of passion” when men kill their female partners, these femicides are the culmination of a history of violence in more than 70 per cent of cases — and are more often crimes of control.

They are also often more likely to be premeditated than non-intimate partner killings. So many of these deaths are preventable, and we must use every tool at our disposal to increase public awareness and enhance prevention.

Holding officials to account

Public health efforts around the COVID-19 pandemic have illustrated the importance of clear messaging, prioritizing expert voices and holding political leaders and social institutions to account to save lives.

As these efforts continue, we once again mark Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, and reflect on the ongoing pandemic of male violence that continues to take the lives of women and girls worldwide.

a silhouette of a woman in seen beside a monument with christmas lights in the background
A woman stands next to the Women’s Monument in London, Ont., as people gather to mark the 25th anniversary of the ÉcolePolytechnique massacre in 2014.

Our work at the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability keeps track of this extreme form of sex/gender-related violence. As is so evident with the COVID-19 pandemic, the media play a critical role in informing us about how threats are defined, what aspects to pay attention to and how to deal with a given problem.

In short, the media frame the problem and suggest the solutions. As such, the media can be a key mechanism for primary prevention, but only if the problem is represented accurately.

In covering femicide, media have a leading role, not only in awareness and education generally, but in actively shaping the construction of attitudes and beliefs that can help prevention efforts.

In contrast, harmful representations include those that portray these killings as isolated or individualized events, focus on victim behaviours to suggest (implicitly or explicitly) that they were to blame for their own death or marginalizing certain groups based on race, religion, socio-economic class, sex-trade involvement, sexual orientation and other factors.

There is also the matter of who isn’t represented at all. The “missing white girl syndrome” underscores that white, usually class-privileged victims receive copious amounts of media coverage while missing and murdered Indigenous, Black and other racialized women and girls are excluded from large-scale societal attention. Therefore, some women and girls remain invisible in life and death.

Girls and women in brightly coloured skirts hold drums as they walk.
Young girls walk together during the annual Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver in February 2021. The march is held to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with stops along the way to commemorate where women were last seen or found.

Media reporting on femicide is key

How reporters frame femicides is therefore critical for accurately informing the public. Media coverage of femicide has the potential to connect it to broader issues related to violence against women, thereby educating the public about these crimes, their broader societal causes, consequences and implications.

This media coverage might include terminology such as femicide, statistics on the number of women killed by intimate partners, domestic violence resources or new expert sources who are more qualified to speak on femicide, including front-line service providers, advocates and researchers.

In addition to providing more in-depth, empirically supported context about femicide, this type of coverage raises public awareness about the issue. It reports on femicides not as isolated incidents but more directly highlights community and societal solutions.

That can include funding services that help victims of violence, prevention education, legal reform and cultural change, such as targeting the attitudes that support or normalize violence against women.

Read more:
‘Home is the most dangerous place for women,’ but private and public violence are connected

As we remember those women and girls killed by violence in Canada, we can critically reflect on how their stories are told and how the media educate us about their deaths. We can move beyond relying on police narratives and cultural framings about femicide, drawing from the experiences and expertise of survivors and those who have lost loved ones to violence.

We can reduce sensational, graphic reporting of femicide and stop suggesting any victim’s actions, behaviours or lifestyles contributed to their deaths.

Femicide is a tragic loss of life. It is the most extreme act of violence against women, a human rights violation and part of a public health crisis. An accurate representation of this crime by the media must include perspectives that address all three of these areas.

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Trump's social media venture says it has raised $1B – Vancouver Sun



He is working to launch a social media app called TRUTH Social that is at least several weeks away.

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Donald Trump’s new social media venture said on Saturday it had entered into agreements to raise about $1 billion from a group of unidentified investors as it prepares to float in the U.S. stock market.


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The capital raise, details of which were first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, underscored the former U.S. president’s ability to attract strong financial backing thanks to his personal and political brand. He is working to launch a social media app called TRUTH Social that is at least several weeks away.

Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check acquisition firm that will take Trump Media & Technology Group Corp public by listing it in New York, said it will provide up to $293 million to the partnership with Trump’s media venture, taking the total proceeds to about $1.25 billion.

The $1 billion will be raised through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction from “a diverse group of institutional investors,” Trump Media and Digital World said in a statement. They did not respond to requests to name the investors.


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Trump Media inked its deal with Digital World to go public in October at a valuation of $875 million, including debt. The social media venture is now valued at almost $4 billion based on the price of Digital World shares at the end of trading on Friday. Trump supporters and day traders snapped up the stock.

Many Wall Street firms such as mutual funds and private equity firms snubbed the opportunity to invest in the PIPE. Among those investors who participated were hedge funds, family offices and high net-worth individuals, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Family offices manage the wealth of the very rich and their kin.

Some Wall Street investors are reluctant to associate with Trump. He was banned from top social media platforms after the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol amid concerns he would inspire further violence. The Capitol attack was based on unsubstantiated claims of widespread fraud in last year’s presidential election.


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“As our balance sheet expands, Trump Media & Technology Group will be in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday.

The deal also faces regulatory risk. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren asked Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler last month to investigate the planned merger for potential violations of securities laws around disclosure. The SEC has declined to comment on whether it plans any action.

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Trump Media and Digital World said the per-share conversion price of the convertible preferred stock PIPE transaction represents a 20% discount to Digital World’s volume-weighted average closing price for the five trading days to Dec. 1, when Reuters broke news of the capital raise.


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If that price averages below $56 in the 10 days after the merger with Digital World has been completed, the discount will grow to 40% with a floor of $10, the companies added. Digital World shares ended trading on Friday $44.97.

Trump had 89 million followers on Twitter, 33 million on Facebook and 24.5 million on Instagram at the time he was blocked, according to a presentation on his company’s website.

Investors attending the confidential investor road shows were shown a demo from the planned social media app, which looked like a Twitter feed, Reuters reported.


Since Trump was voted out of office last year, he has repeatedly dropped hints that he might seek the presidency in 2024.

Special purpose acquisition companies such as Digital World had lost much of their luster with retail investors before the Trump media deal came along. Many of these investors were left with big losses after the companies that merged with SPACs failed to deliver on their ambitious financial projections.

TRUTH Social is scheduled for a full rollout in the first quarter of 2022. It is the first of three stages in the Trump Media plan, followed by a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ that will feature entertainment, news and podcasts, according to the news release.

In a slide deck on its website, the company envisions eventually competing against’s AWS cloud service and Google Cloud.



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Trump social media company claims to raise $1bn from investors – The Guardian



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Trump social media company claims to raise $1bn from investors  The Guardian

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