Republicans Join Russia, Neo-Nazis, Homophobes On Rumble Platform
A California billionaire’s on-line platform that offers an outlet for pro-Russia propaganda and profits from white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, conspiracists and homophobes was officially endorsed by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to live stream last week’s faux GOP presidential primary debate.
The right wing, video sharing platform, called “Rumble,” was formed in 2013 by Chris Pavloski in an effort to supplant YouTube. Bloomberg reported that Pavloski is worth more than $1.8 billion.
Rumble misleadingly claims to be an “unshackled” alternative to mainstream social media that values “free speech.” It hosts numerous conspiracy personalities and is home to trump’s Truth Social platform and the Tucker Carlson show since Carlson was fired from Fox.
Since June, Rumble has been offering video-sharing to RT, one of the Kremlin’s primary propaganda organs in the West. The N.Y. Times reported that RT was largely taken off the air in the United States and banned by the European Union after Russia invaded Ukraine. But in June, RT’s version of a misleading story about two Ukrainian captives appeared on Rumble. Facebook has demoted RT content, Twitter has halted ads and recommendations, YouTube has denied ad revenue and Reddit banned all links to Russian state media.
Rumble has made millions from content that pushes Holocaust denial and claims the LGBTQ movement wants to “sterilize humanity.” Many of the videos contain banner ads or ads before the video, supporting the RNC, and profiting Rumble.
The second presidential primary debate on Sept. 27 also will be in partnership with Rumble.
“I am so excited to announce that Rumble will be the RNC’s official streaming partner for the first Republican primary debate,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “This is a big step for our party and country, as Republican leaders we must continue to hold Big Tech accountable for their biases and silencing of conservatives. People deserve a fair, unbiased platform and that’s exactly what this partnership will provide — an opportunity for voters to watch the next President of the United States on the Republican debate stage on Rumble.”
Rumble Chairman and CEO Pavlovski said his company’s mission “to protect free speech is not just a slogan, it runs through the DNA of our company. Rumble saw record traffic and user engagement during the 2022 midterms, and we’re ready to be the premier platform for all candidates in the 2024 elections.”
In 2020, Rumble’s viewership started climbing after then-Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., accused YouTube of overly censoring Nunes’ YouTube channel. Nunes began posting content on Rumble with other prominent conservatives, such as Dinesh D’Souza, Dan Bongino, Sean Hannity, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Nunes resigned from the House in 2022 after he was hired as chief executive officer of the Trump Media & Technology Group.
In 2021, Rumble received a major investment from a venture capital firm co-founded by J .D. Vance, then a right wing, Republican Senate candidate in Ohio. Vance was elected in the November general election. Vance’s firm, Narya Capital, got a seat on Rumble’s board, and its more than seven million shares place it among the company’s top 10 shareholders, according to the Times. Vance also took a personal Rumble stake worth between $100,000 and $250,000.
Narya lists nine companies in its portfolio, including AppHarvest, a company that is developing indoors farms in Applachia; and Hallow, an app that provides audio-guided Bible stories, prayers, meditations, sleep, and Christian music.
Narya is backed by the billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel who contributed more than $15 million to Vance’s Senate campaign and $15 million to Blake Masters, a right wing Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona who lost in the general election.
Rumble continues to be a media outlet where anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi propaganda are welcomed.
Rumble hosts the film, “Europa: The Last Battle,” a pro-Hitler and neo-Nazi film. The Anti-Defamation League wrote that the 2017 film “is an antisemitic, World War II revisionist film… that claims Jews deliberately caused both World Wars — and that Hitler was only trying to save Germany from the Jews — as part of a plot to found the nation of Israel.”
The film claims that communism was created by Jews with a goal of “total world domination” and that Jews control the world’s money supply. It also claims that Jews started World War I and II as part of a plot to establish Israel and that they caused Germany’s defeat in World War I.
Advertising for the Republican National Committee is on a page promoting the film.
RNC ads also are on another anti-Semitic film offered on Rumble, called “Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told.” The six-hour film by British filmmaker Dennis Wise claims to reveal “a personal side of Adolf Hitler: who he was, his family background, his artwork and struggles in Vienna and what motivated him to come to power. There’s so much hidden history to recount; FDR Pearl Harbor conspiracy, Soviet brutality, betrayal and treachery on all sides. Do we really know the true cost of war? Do we really possess all the facts?”
Rumble has been home to some of the most vile bigots.
During a Rumble video on July 29, white nationalist Nick Fuentes said that “me and Hitler would team up” to “kill” a Black man who allegedly had littered in Fuentes’ neighborhood. Fuentes questioned why he should be “mad at Hitler because of some fantastical Hollywood story about a gas chamber that looks like a shower?”
During a July 16 rally livestreamed on Rumble, Fuentes ranted about a “Jewish stranglehold” over the United States. He called for a “holy war” because he fears a “genocide against whites” and a “concerted effort to fill up” white countries around the world with “nonwhite immigrants.”
Another podcaster hosted by rumble is Michael F. Scheuer, 71, a former intelligence officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. Scheuer has endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories and called for the execution of various perceived enemies of trump, including former President Barack Obama, and former British Prime Minister Britain David Cameron.
“By an established law among the most virtuous nations, every man might kill a tyrant; and no names are recorded in history with more honor, than of those who did it,” Scheuer said.
In July 2018, Scheuer called upon “those millions of well-armed citizens who voted for Trump” to be ready to kill “a long and very precise list” of those who oppose Trump. Scheuer has said that American Jews are disloyal and “must be stopped and then scoured from the continent.”
Tommy Sotomayor, 48, an African American who claims to be a men’s rights activist, hosted a five-hour Rumble livestream on July 23, which was titled, “Can We Be Honest? The White Race Is Superior Over Blacks! Hear Me Out!” Another July 12, four-hour livestream by Sotomayor was titled “Black Women Are The Lowest Class Of Women On Earth! Here Is The Proof!”
Stewart Peters, 43, a far-right online personality and former bounty hunter, has a show seen on Rumble that is known for promoting COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories. Peters has used violent rhetoric against Jews and the LGBT community and promotes concepts linked to QAnon and white nationalism. Peters was a speaker at the 2022 far right, white supremacist America First Political Action Conference, where he called for the murders of noted immunologist Anthony Fauci by hanging and former Georgia Democratic congressman Vernon Jones, by electrocution. As of 2022, the conference has hosted four elected officials as speakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers, and Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin.
In a June 22 Rumble video, “Rumble Exclusives” creator Nick Rekieta said that “homosexuality is statistically and naturally aberrant. They need it to be normalized for some reason because, again, these people have a deep-seated obsession with sex and sexuality, so much so that it would override the overwhelmingly compelling human prerogative to not speak to someone else’s child about sex.” On a June 20 Rumble livestream, Rekieta used an anti-gay slur while ranting about the right-wing crusade to demonize Bud Light after the company partnered with a trans TikTok influencer.
On a June 16 Rumble livestream, Seamus Coughlin, a co-host of Tim Pool’s Timcast IRL, claimed that supporters of trans youth are trying to “pervert children.”
“The way the left has normally approached regular, everyday people is with slogans like ‘Protect Trans Kids.’ Now what does that really mean? It means: Protect the groomers who are trying to confuse and pervert children,” Coughlin said.
Most of Rumble’s exclusive creators are right-wing, male pundits like Steven Crowder, Dan Bongino, and Dave Rubin.
“Louder With Crowder” is hosted by Crowder, 37, a Canadian commentator who formerly worked for Fox News. His YouTube channel has been kicked off three times, first when he repeatedly used racist and homophobic slurs. He was permitted back on YouTube and then removed again, after violating YouTube’s presidential election integrity policy against advancing false claims about the election’s integrity. Crowder was suspended yet a third time for violating YouTube’s harassment, threats and cyberbullying policy.
Crowder moved his show to Rumble in March and as of May, it had 5.86 million subscribers.
Bongino, 48, is a political commentator, radio show host, and author and hosts The Dan Bongino Show on Rumble.
In November 2020, The New York Times listed Bongino as one of its top five election “misinformation superspreaders.” In January 2022, Bongino was permanently banned from YouTube for using his main account in an attempt to circumvent a temporary suspension for posting a video questioning the efficacy of masks against COVID-19.
Rubin, 47, is a conservative political commentator whose YouTube show, “The Rubin Report,” had 200 million views by May 2019. Rubin is gay and supports same-sex marriage but his Twitter account was suspended for “hateful conduct” after he retweeted a tweet in which Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson misgendered and deadnamed transgender actor Elliot Page. Deadnaming is the act of referring to a transgender or non-binary person by a name they used prior to transitioning, such as their birth name.
Content promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory has dominated the Rumble platform. Media Matters analyzed the 50 most-liked Rumble videos each day from Feb. 1 to April 30, and found that videos from QAnon channels appeared on the leaderboard every day during the time period for a total of 603 times. Media Matters also found another popular channel is the “X22 Report,” the official channel for a QAnon-promoting show.
Rumble hosts the QAnon-affiliated show “Why We Vote,” which is marked by election misinformation and is affiliated with QAnon-promoting Badlands Media, which claims to feature “the work of a dedicated group of Patriot citizen journalists who are changing the media landscape in America.” “Why We Vote” has hosted election deniers, including key figures involved with Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn her gubernatorial election defeat.