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Rumble, A Free Speech Alternative To YouTube, Is Going Public
The Rumble video platform logo on a smartphone arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Big tech's decision to ban the Parler app and block former U.S. President Donald Trump is stoking support for alternative social networking sites and apps that bill themselves as promoting free speech and privacy. Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rumble — a video sharing platform meant to fight cancel culture — is going public.

According to a statement from Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski, the company will be listed on the NASDAQ via the ticker CFVI after a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

“Rumble is creating the rails to a new infrastructure that will not be bullied by cancel culture.” Pavlovski said. “We are a movement that does not stifle, censor, or punish creativity and freedom of expression. We believe everyone benefits when they have access to more ideas and diverse opinions.”

He added, “Being a public company will allow the people that believe in our mission to invest and join us as we seek to restore a free and open internet.”

Fox Business explained that Rumble has experienced impressive growth over the past year:

Rumble, founded in 2013, hit a record 36 million active monthly users in third quarter of 2021, a striking increase from its 1.6 million average monthly users in the same quarter last year. It saw explosive growth around the 2020 presidential election, as major platforms ramped up their stifling of conservative voices and banned reports damaging to Democrats under the guise of squashing “misinformation.”

The company has seen several high-profile conservatives join its platform, most notably former President Donald Trump, who was banned by Google-owned YouTube along with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a crowd of his supporters. 

In October, former President Trump revealed that he would take Trump Media & Technology Group and TRUTH Social — his new social media platform — public via SPAC.

“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

“TMTG was founded with a mission to give a voice to all,” he continued. “I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech. Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon!”

As both social media companies carry out their initial public offerings, established Big Tech firms have been heightening their crackdown on free speech.

On Monday, longtime Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey announced that he would immediately be replaced by former chief technology officer Parag Agrawal. The next day, the company revealed that it would restrict sharing videos and photos without consent of the person depicted.

Indeed, Agrawal has expressed a willingness to use Twitter’s power to practice viewpoint discrimination. Agrawal told MIT Technology Review last year that Twitter does not need to be “bound by the First Amendment” and that discourse on the platform should be policed in a way that reflects “how the times have changed.” 

He also implied that Twitter should play a role in promoting some voices and sources of information, while suppressing others in a bid to “direct people’s attention.”

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