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Rumblings On Rumble’s Battle Against Cancel Culture

The latest news from popular video-sharing platform Rumble is the launch of its new online store dedicated to official Rumble merchandise, Rumble.Store, which is being launched just a month after the platform went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market, under the stock symbol RUM. Here Founder and CEO Chris Pavlovski discusses why he created Rumble and what he believes the future has in store for the platform

Founded in 2013 as a neutral video platform that strives to create the independent infrastructure intended to render it immune to cancel culture, with the mission of restoring the internet’s roots of free access and openness, Rumble’s popularity initially grew slowly, but in recent years it has become a high-growth platform. This booming popularity prompted it to go public in September, after shareholders of special purpose acquisition company Cantor Fitzgerald Acquisition Corp. VI voted in favour of the move.

Created as an alternative to the globally popular YouTube, Rumble hosts channels for influencers and video content creators who have found themselves censored or kicked off the Google-owned platform, among others.

With a purported 78 million global monthly viewers, Rumble recently announced the launch of exclusive shows from British actor and activist Russell Brand and renowned American journalist Glenn Greenwald, though Pavlovski’s personal invitation and offer of $100 million in February this year to Joe Rogan, the world’s number one podcaster, failed to bear fruit. Nonetheless, his free-speech-centric platform does also manage advertising sales for former U.S. President Donald Trump’s platform Truth Social, which Trump founded following his shocking and highly controversial banning from social network company Twitter.

As Pavlovski wrote in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, “Rumble is creating the rails to a new infrastructure that will not be bullied by cancel culture… We are a movement that does not stifle, censor, or punish creativity and freedom of expression.”

As he personally Tweeted in December 2021, “Now more than ever, it’s time to lean in and restore the internet to its roots by making it free and open once again. I am personally committed to this.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the platform has also gained private financing from conservative venture capitalist Peter Thiel, as well as author and U.S. Senate candidate and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance.

Pavlovski, a Canadian entrepreneur who is also a founder and partner of IT consulting firm Cosmic Development and a former marketing director of space exploration company Next Giant Leap, says that he launched the platform in response to the increasing censoring of free speech on the internet. As he explains, “Rumble is based on a deceptively simple concept: the internet should remain free and open. People should be free to produce and view online content without worrying about censorship or algorithmic manipulation. If someone makes a video that people like, they should have the opportunity to monetise it and build a following. Rumble isn’t in the business of picking which videos succeed and which fail; we simply provide a platform for creators and their audiences. This is how all platforms should work.”

People from all walks of life are flocking to Rumble, because it provides them with a place to express their ideas free from arbitrary discrimination or manipulation

Google’s acquisition of YouTube, back in 2006, shifted the playing field for good. The move led to the rapid, successive collapse of YouTube’s main competitors, including Dailymotion and Break.com, which were unable to cope with the combined might of YouTube and Google, as the world’s dominant search engine.

“I knew then that I wanted to go toe-to-toe against YouTube and inject competition into a monopolistic marketplace,” explains Pavlovski. “That’s why, in 2013, I started Rumble and began building the infrastructure we needed to compete with Big-Tech giants. This wasn’t an easy task, because Big-Tech companies have a huge size and reach advantage. We designed Rumble to focus on a group we thought YouTube and other platforms often overlooked: small creators. We wanted to be a place where creators knew that an algorithm wouldn’t determine the success or failure of their videos.”

The Rumble founder and CEO insists that his platform has no hidden agenda. “We exist to ensure creators have a platform to disseminate their message to those who are interested. Since our founding, we have struck back against Big Tech whenever possible.” The company even sued Google for prioritising YouTube videos in its search algorithm.

“Over the last two years, many creators and users have realised that Rumble is a refuge against cancel culture. We have grown rapidly in size, as media superstars including Dan Bongino and Governor Ron DeSantis have taken Rumble by storm,” says Pavlovski. “Whenever YouTube cancels someone like Dr Rand Paul for committing a so-called “thought crime,” we gain momentum and subscribers. We now routinely set video production and consumption records as we continue expanding.”

Rumble has also been building up its resources, with German-American billionaire entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and political activist Peter Thiel and American venture capitalist, lawyer and author J.D. Vance having invested substantially in Rumble. The platform also recently acquired subscription-based online platform Locals, which allows users to interact directly with creators. As Pavlovski explains, “our growth has also been physical, as we recently announced our U.S. headquarters in Florida and plan to expand there in the coming months.”

More recently, Rumble entered into a business combination agreement with CF Acquisition Corp. VI, with the transactions anticipated by the business agreement closing in the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions. This move allowed members of the public to join Rumble in pursuing its mission, while September’s public launch provided the opportunity to access the resources and support required for Rumble to continue building a new economy for, as Pavlovski puts it, “creators and viewers that emphatically reject Big-Tech’s policies and further our goal of creating a complete cloud infrastructure that protects Rumble and our creators from any retaliation from outside companies.”

We designed Rumble to focus on a group we thought YouTube and other platforms often overlooked: small creators. We wanted to be a place where creators knew that an algorithm wouldn’t determine the success or failure of their videos

And Rumble isn’t stopping there. The company has been generating momentum over the last nine years and the results are now visible for the world to see.

“People from all walks of life are flocking to Rumble, because it provides them with a place to express their ideas free from arbitrary discrimination or manipulation,” insists Pavlovski.

The latest development is the new Rumble Store. Initially offering a small collection of U.S.-made Rumble t-shirts and hats, in future the store will draw inspiration from creative artists and creators to expand the collection with Rumble-branded essential merchandise and ‘drops’, or limited time offers.

“We are excited to offer our community official Rumble merchandise,” says Pavlovski. “We wanted to design merchandise that our community can wear with pride in support of our collective mission to protect a free and open internet. What you see today is just the beginning of what we envisage as being a collection of creative pieces inspired by professional designers and creators.”

With no end in sight for the censoring and de-platforming of alternative voices on the largest Big Tech platforms, Rumble has a huge mission ahead in its struggle to make the internet free and open once and for all.