Comedian and former Hollywood playboy turned social media provocateur Russell Brand is facing sexual assault accusations from over ten years ago. While he hasn’t been charged with anything by law enforcement, let alone convicted of anything in a court of law, that hasn’t stopped mainstream media from publicly lynching him for his alleged crimes.
In less than a week since the accusations were made public, Mr. Brand has been dropped like a bad habit by just about everybody. His ability to make a living was cut off by YouTube, which demonetized his show based solely on the allegations.
However, an organization has very publicly stood by its convictions and refused to bow to the cancel mob.
Social media video site Rumble, where Russell Brand also has a channel for his show, is not only refusing to kowtow to the mob, they told the United Kingdom to shove off after they sent a letter to the CEO asking some disturbing questions. Regardless of your opinion of Mr. Brand, thoughts on his guilt or innocence, or whether you watch Rumble, this story is important because if they can do it to Russell Brand, they can do it to you, too.
The British government is now asking TikTok if @rustyrockets is able to monetize his content on that platform.
This was never about Russell Brand.
This was a political pretext so governments across the world can coordinate with social media companies to acquire total control… pic.twitter.com/emcy0AE3j7
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) September 20, 2023
Why is this Parliament’s concern?
This week, YouTube demonetized Russell Brand’s channel on their platform, suspending him due to the allegations against him. After this move by the social media giant, Dame Caroline Dinenage of the House of Commons media committee in the United Kingdom sent letters to the CEOs of TikTok, X, and Facebook asking them to suspend Mr. Brand just as YouTube had.
A similar letter was sent to Rumble’s CEO, Chris Pavlovski.
In the letter, Dame Dinenage writes:
“While we recognize 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.”
Why would Parliament be concerned about someone making money from content on Rumble? Mr. Brand is a free man who, as far as Rumble and anyone else should be concerned, hasn’t done anything illegal on his channels.
Support Conservative Voices!
Sign up to receive the latest political news, insight, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox.
Dame Dinenage goes on to not-so-subtly demand:
“We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr. Brand is able to monetize 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.”
How is any of this Parliament’s business? It should alarm everyone that a Western government cares two figs about whether a person has a social media account.
Thankfully, Mr. Pavlovski isn’t about that government censorship life.
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS:
Chair of Culture, Media & Sport was paid by YouTube, then writes to Rumble to deplatform Russell Brand: pic.twitter.com/E6rsmv5dOW
— Robin Monotti (@robinmonotti) September 21, 2023
Mind The Gap
In response to the letter they received from Parliament, Rumble very publicly responded with a hard pass:
“We emphatically reject the UK Parliament’s demands.”
I just became a Rumble fan. https://t.co/XXkW0bUT7c
— Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) September 20, 2023
The response touched on their competitor YouTube’s decision to suspend Mr. Brand, stating:
“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.”
My favorite part of the response, however, is when Rumble calls out all the other organizations that fell like a house of cards to the cancel mob:
“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.”
This individual from Parliament should’ve been able to gameplan how Rumble would respond, given their history of flipping the bird to anyone attempting to censor their platform.
Impressive track record
Rumble isn’t new to government pressure to censor their site. Last year, France demanded that the CEO shut down Russian accounts on the video platform.
In response, Chris Pavlovski wrote:
“The French Government has demanded that Rumble block Russian news sources. Like Elon Musk, I won’t move our goalposts for any foreign government.”
Rather than give in to criminal demands from the government, the company instead shut down access to the platform in France because, as Mr. Pavlovski said, “France isn’t material to us.” Rumble also went head-to-head with the state of New York last year and won.
New York tried to enforce a law requiring social media sites to create vague policies on how to deal with content that could be perceived to “vilify, humiliate, or incite violence” on what they call a “protected class.” Additionally, the law would’ve required social media sites to allow visitor complaints on “hateful content,” mandating that platforms and creators address every complaint.
Most recently, Rumble has embarked on an antitrust lawsuit against Google, which owns YouTube. They claim that Google purposely buries Rumble links, which has, as the complaint effectively states, stifled Rumble’s reach:
“Rumble’s success…has been far less than it could and should have been as a direct result of Google’s unlawful anticompetitive exclusionary and monopolistic behavior.”
Rumble has no issues going toe-to-toe with governments and Big Tech to keep their site free from censorship. But Mr. Pavlovski should be careful…it may be just a matter of time before the mob comes after him.
Rumble is in posession of an email where Google said they feature livestreams of major election events in Search. But when the Republican debate livestream belonged to a competitor, there’s a “miscommunication” and it doesn’t happen.
— Chris Pavlovski (@chrispavlovski) September 20, 2023
A political takedown?
Since the allegations came out against Russell Brand, he has been demonetized on YouTube, lost his book deal, been dropped by his management agency, charities have left him, and his tour has been canceled. What Mr. Brand has been accused of includes rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse that occurred from 2006 through 2013 by four women.
The initial investigation was through British news outlets and has just now been transferred to the police to investigate. As of this article, Mr. Brand hasn’t been officially charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.
In response to the letter Mr. Pavlovski received, the owner of X Elon Musk wrote that it was:
“outrageous behavior by this Minister of Censorship!”
Mr. Musk rightly explained that “accusations do not mean someone is guilty.” Unfortunately, if they espouse beliefs that are unpopular to the progressives in the world, it does.
Before the accusations were made public, Mr. Brand released a video in which he professed his innocence and said this key line:
“It’s been clear to me, or at least it feels to me like there’s a serious and concerted agenda to control these kinds of spaces and these kinds of voices – and I mean my voice along with your voice.”
Of course. They don’t like competition.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 15, 2023
I don’t know if Mr. Brand is guilty of the accusations levied against him. Still, he deserves to voice his side of the story and is innocent until proven guilty.
It’s awfully suspicious that the government of the United Kingdom has such a keen interest in his ability to voice the above freely. Mr. Brand has been openly critical of the pharmaceutical industry, the progressive left, the war in Ukraine, and other issues considered taboo to critique publicly.
It seems to me that this may be a case of purposeful smearing or opportunistic de-platforming. Regardless, I’m glad Rumble is staying the course.
It will only be a matter of time until, in the court of law, we become guilty until proven innocent, just as in the court of public opinion.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”