Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Tweet Kyle Rittenhouse Should Be Jailed For Murder And His Instagram Account Taken Down

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: Kamala Harris Did NOT Tweet Kyle Rittenhouse Should Be Jailed For Murder And His Instagram Account Taken Down Counterfeit

Did Kamala Harris take to her Facebook account to discourage traffic to Kyle Rittenhouse's Instagram account by writing he should be "locked up in jail" for murder? No, that's not true: The post is a counterfeit image found in a meme library online and doesn't even cite the correct Instagram handle for Rittenhouse. There is no such post on the vice president's Facebook accounts nor on her Twitter accounts. The profile photo does not match her profile photos and the Facebook blue checkmark indicating a verified user also appears to be poorly pasted onto the meme.

The claim, which was reposted by several social media users, is a meme posted November 30, 2021, by realnewfederation5 and then to a meme library called ifunny.com (archived here). It opened: "WOW! Kyle Rittenhouse just started a new Instagram account called @the.Kyle.Rittenhouse." It continued:

He should be locked up in jail for murder! Go report his account and do not follow him.

Here is what the meme looked like at the time this fact check was written:

Harris Counterfeit.JPG

(Source: ifunny.co screenshot taken The Dec 16 22:11:33 2021 UTC)

Rittenhouse is the Illinois teenager acquitted November 19, 2021, on all charges arising from his shooting of three men, two fatally, during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020.

While it is not perfectly probative (because profiles can be easily changed) at the time of writing, the flag in the background of Harris' portrait in the meme gives away the counterfeit Harris post. It does not match the position of the flag in the portraits used on her official and personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In addition, Lead Stories searched all four accounts for the purported post and did not find it. Neither was the post found in Politiwoops.com, a database that collects deleted tweets by government officials and other prominent social media users.

The meme also does not provide the correct Instagram handle for Rittenhouse, instead providing the handle for a fan page.

Here is the vice president's official Facebook page. Note position of the background flag in her photo:

VEEP FB.JPG

(Source: Facebook.com screenshot taken Thu Dec 16 22:43:24 2021 UTC)

Here is the vice president's personal Facebook page (note flag position):

KH Personal.JPG

(Source: Facebook.com screenshot taken Thu Dec 16 22:42 2021 UTC)

Here is the vice president's official Twitter profile (also note flag position):

Veep Twitter.JPG

(Source: Twitter.com screenshot taken Thu Dec 16 22:44:12 2021 UTC)

Here is the vice president's personal Twitter profile (in which flag position doesn't match the meme):

Harris Twtter.JPG

(Source: Twitter.com screenshot taken Thu Dec 16 22:45:11 2021 UTC)

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  Dean Miller

Lead Stories Managing Editor Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University's Center for News Literacy for six years, then as Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. Most recently, he wrote the twice-weekly "Save the Free Press" column for The Seattle Times. 

Read more about or contact Dean Miller

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