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Video streaming platform Rumble went public on Wednesday with a statement, revealing that they had received a letter from the U.K.’s Parliament demanding they demonetize Russell Brand over recent accusations of sexual misconduct — and they had refused to comply.
Rumble published a copy of the letter from Parliament — calling the governing body’s attempt to interfere with free expression on the internet “deeply inappropriate and dangerous” — along with a copy of their response via X.
Attached is the letter from the UK Parliament. pic.twitter.com/MdeYrlt06J
— Rumble – 🏴☠️ $RUM (@rumblevideo) September 20, 2023
The letter from Parliament — signed by Dame Caroline Dinenage, Chair of the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee — expressed concern that Brand might continue to make money using Rumble to reach his 1.4 million followers.
“We are also looking at his use of social media, including on Rumble where he issued his preemptive response to the accusations made against hime by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches,” the letter read. “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.”
“We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr. Brand is able to monetise his content, including his videos relating to the serious accusations against him. 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,” Parliament’s missive continued.
Rumble’s response opened by calling Parliament’s request “disturbing,” and continued from there.
“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,” the letter read.
Noting that YouTube had made the decision to demonetize Brand — based solely on the accusations leveled against him — the statement said that Rumble would not do the same.
“Rumble stands for very different values. We have devoted ourselves to the vital cause of defending a free internet — meaning an internet where no one arbitrarily dictates which ideas can or cannot be heard, or which citizens may or may not be entitled to a platform,” the statement continued.
“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,” the statement said, adding that Parliament’s demands were “even more disturbing” because the accusations against Brand had no relation to the content on Rumble. “We don’t agree with the behavior of many Rumble creators, but we refuse to penalize them for actions that have nothing to do with our platform.”