Rumble has refused to follow YouTube’s example in preemptively silencing Russell Brand amidst new allegations of sexual assault, touting “the vital cause” of a “free internet.”
Video platform Rumble has insisted on standing for free speech in the wake of calls to demonetize Brand. Rumble responded to an anti-free speech letter from U.K. Member of Parliament (MP) Caroline Dinenage by stating, “Although it may be politically and socially easier for Rumble to join a cancel culture mob, doing so would be in violation of our company’s values and mission. We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands.”
The U.K. demands come on the heels of YouTube demonetizing Brand’s videos amid as-yet unproven allegations of sexual assault. Yet, the Google-owned video site continues to platform former CBS News journalist Charlie Rose and former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) despite sexual harassment and assault allegations.
“Rumble is right to reject and rebuke the U.K. or any other ‘Cancel Culture Mob’ demands to demonetize its customers,” said MRC Free Speech America Director Michael Morris. “American social media companies should also be exporting the American principles of freedom, free speech and expression to the four corners of the earth, not importing the anti-American censorship ideals of totalitarian governments overseas.”
Rumble posted a letter on X (formerly Twitter) in response to the U.K. letter sent to Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski. “While Rumble obviously deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes, and believes that both alleged victims and the accused are entitled to a full and serious investigation, it is vital to note that recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble’s platform,” Rumble explained. Rumble further noted that it is dedicated to “the vital cause of defending a free internet,” where individuals cannot arbitrarily demand censorship of other users.
Dinenage wrote to Rumble Sept. 20 to nudge Rumble toward anti-free speech action against Brand, just as YouTube demonetized Brand’s content. Her letter opened by noting that Brand has 1.4 million Rumble followers, and self-righteously announced that the “Culture, Media, and Sport Committee” she heads is contacting previous employers of Brand, allegedly to determine the truth of the “serious allegations” against him.
“While we recognise that Rumble is not the creator of the content published by Mr. Brand, we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform,” Dinenage wrote in her letter. She asked if Brand’s content continues to be monetized. “If so, we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr. Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.” Dinenage ended by requesting information from Rumble about how the platform “ensure[s] that creators are not able to use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims.”
Rumble, however, refused to demonetize Brand “based solely on these media allegations,” as YouTube has done. “We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so,” Rumble stated, adding that the singling out of Brand was “even more disturbing” since his video content is unrelated to the allegations.
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