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Molly Butler / Media Matters

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The RNC’s first primary debate livestreamed exclusively on Rumble, a platform overrun with QAnon content, violent threats, and bigotry

Rumble has profited from content that pushes Holocaust denial and claims the LGBTQ movement wants to “sterilize humanity”

Content warning: This article contains numerous examples of bigoted and violent rhetoric.

The August 23 Republican presidential primary debate will be exclusively livestreamed on the right-wing video-sharing site Rumble, a platform overrun with extreme content that denies the Holocaust, promotes violent threats, and spreads bigotry. Rumble has repeatedly monetized and profited from ads running on QAnon conspiracy theorist and white nationalist content on its platform. Notably, when reporting on Rumble, mainstream media outlets have failed to note that extreme content dominates the platform.  

  • Rumble is an extreme right-wing video-sharing platform, but misleadingly presents itself as an “unshackled” alternative to mainstream social media that values “free speech”

    • Rumble misleadingly markets itself as a place “to see your favorite creators, unshackled” and as a defender of “free speech.” Rumble was founded in 2013 by CEO Chris Pavlovski, who has characterized the platform as a YouTube alternative that’s “immune from cancel culture.” The platform appeals to conservatives, who have falsely claimed for years that social media companies are biased against them, and has big ambitions to compete with a range of other tech companies. [New York Times, 3/28/22]
    • Rumble has recruited a cadre of exclusive content creators who purport to offer unique perspectives on politics and culture, but ultimately traffic in conspiracy theories and bigoted rhetoric. Most of the platform’s exclusive creators are right-wing, male pundits including hatemongering bully Steven Crowder, serial misinformer Dan Bongino, and right-wing provocateur Dave Rubin. [Media Matters, 4/11/23]
    • When reporting on Rumble in the past, mainstream media outlets have failed to mention that the platform is dominated by extreme, false, and bigoted content. Reports from Axios, Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes, and Politico have omitted the fact that the platform is rife with extremist content. [Media Matters, 5/23/23]
  • Content promoting the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory dominates the platform 

    • Media Matters analyzed the 50 most-liked Rumble videos each day from February 1 to April 30, and found that videos from QAnon channels appeared on this leaderboard every day during the time period — a total of 603 times. What’s more, videos from these channels affiliated with the QAnon conspiracy theory actually appeared in the top 10 spots of the leaderboard 86 of the 89 days studied, or 97% of days. The conspiracy theory has been labeled as a domestic terror threat by the FBI and has led to multiple instances of real-world violence, including kidnapping and murder cases. [Media Matters, 5/4/23]
    • Media Matters also found that the “X22 Report” channel, which is the official channel for a QAnon-promoting show that has been directly linked to at least one act of real-world violence, appeared on the leaderboard 143 times during the study’s time period. In 2020, a man derailed a train near a hospital ship that was docked in Los Angeles to treat COVID-19 patients. He told investigators that he believed the hospital ship “was part of a government conspiracy to bring healthy ‘open-minded’ people onto the ship and ‘get rid of them,’” according to Vice News, and described “reading internet materials related to conspiracy groups, such as ‘X22 Report,’ the ‘Great Awakening,’ and ‘Q.’” [Media Matters, 5/4/23; Vice News, 4/15/22]
    • Rumble has repeatedly profited from ads run on QAnon-supporting channels. A Media Matters review of pre-roll advertisements displayed before Rumble videos from QAnon-supporting shows demonstrated the wide scope of extremist-aligned videos that are lining the pockets of the website. [Media Matters, 11/4/22]
    • Rumble hosts the QAnon-affiliated show Why We Vote, which is dedicated to election misinformation and affiliated with QAnon-promoting Badlands Media. The show has hosted election deniers around the country, including some key figures involved with Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn her gubernatorial election defeat. [Media Matters, 6/14/23]
  • Rumble is overrun with extreme racist and antisemitic content

    • During an August 17 Rumble livestream, Crowder used ableist and anti-gay slurs and complained that he cannot say them on Youtube. Crowder said, “We've lost the words r–––––––. We've lost the word f––. And now we've lost the word riggers.” [Rumble, Louder with Crowder, 8/17/23]
    • During a Rumble video on July 29, white nationalist Nick Fuentes fantasized that “me and Hitler would team up” to “kill” a Black man he alleged had littered in his neighborhood. He also called on his followers “to prepare to catch an aggravated battery charge if you see this in your society.” Fuentes continued, “That guy should be dragged from his car and beaten to death by the public. And I’m supposed to be mad at Hitler because of some fantastical Hollywood story about a gas chamber that looks like a shower?” [Media Matters, 7/31/23]
    • On July 28, failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake appeared on the Rumble-hosted podcast of Michael Scheuer, a virulent antisemite, and stated that the Second Amendment is “there to stop the tyrants.” Scheuer — who has called for the executions of leading political figures like President Joe Biden — responded by claiming that there’s “an enormous enemy in Washington” and “in the general staff of the military.” [Media Matters, 8/4/23]
    • During men's rights activist Tommy Sotomayor's five-hour Rumble livestream on July 23, which was titled, “Can We Be Honest? The White Race Is Superior Over Blacks! Hear Me Out!” he claimed that “if whites weren't superior to Blacks, Blacks wouldn't be walking around right now saying, ‘Black lives matter.’” Sotomayor continued, “If whites weren't superior to Blacks, Blacks wouldn't have to do that.” [Rumble, The Tommy Sotomayor Show, 7/23/23]
    • During a July 16 rally livestreamed on Rumble, Fuentes launched into overt antisemitism, spending over an hour ranting about the supposed “Jewish stranglehold” over the United States. He also fearmongered about “a genocide against whites” and a “concerted effort to fill up” white countries around the world with “nonwhite immigrants.” Fuentes also called for a “holy war,” adding: “Because we're willing to die in the holy war, we will make them die in the holy war.” Rumble removed Fuentes’ original livestream, but several other users reuploaded the video to the site. Each of the reuploaded videos contained banner ads and/or ads before the video, meaning that Rumble profited from Fuentes’ extreme antisemitic remarks. [Media Matters, 7/19/23]
    • Tucker Carlson’s July 11 interview with misogynist Andrew Tate, during which Tate suggested that “there’s got to be some intent” behind “these two actions of neutering the native populace and importing these high-testosterone Third Worlders,” proliferated on Rumble. Tate is an online personality who has been charged with rape and human trafficking and whom Rumble has repeatedly embraced and reportedly sponsored. While speaking with Carlson, he compared COVID-19 lockdowns to the Holocaust, saying, “When I experienced COVID, it’s actually scary. You see how the Nazis managed to do what they did. You see how they managed to put people in concentration camps.” [Media Matters, 7/14/23]
    • On July 12, during a four-hour Rumble livestream titled “Black Women Are The Lowest Class Of Women On Earth! Here Is The Proof!” Sotomayor claimed that “the downfall of the Black race is the Black women.” He also said, “Black women embarrass us way more than the Black men do.” [Rumble, The Tommy Sotomayor Show, 7/12/23]
    • On the misogynistic Fresh & Fit podcast streamed on Rumble, Fuentes said, “I don’t believe in the Holocaust,” denied that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and claimed that women are made to be “baby machines.” Fuentes has repeatedly been invited to appear on the right-wing dating podcast Fresh & Fit, which often begins a stream on multiple platforms, including YouTube, before airing exclusive content on Rumble. During one of the streams on July 10, co-host Myron Gaines bragged, “We’re the biggest platform that’s talking about the JQ. No one else will do it.” The “JQ” — or the “Jewish Question” — is an antisemitic framework that posits the Jewish diaspora is a “problem that needed to be solved.” [Media Matters, 7/12/23]
    • On a July 1 Rumble livestream, Fuentes claimed that Muslims, Black people, and Arabs are genetically “not compatible” with the American system, which is “based on who we are as whites.” Fuentes ranted, “It’s always Blacks that are doing the crime, it’s always Blacks that are running from the cops, it’s always Blacks that are then being gunned down by the cops, and then it’s always Blacks that are blowing up the city, in the name of justice, but then looting liquor stores and phone stores and grocery stores and so on. … And it’s the same thing that you see in France. This is a third world problem; these are third world people, bringing third world behaviors, causing third world problems.” [Rumble, America First, 7/1/23]
    • On June 22, far-right conspiracy theorist Stew Peters pushed an antisemitic conspiracy theory during The Stew Peters Show, which is streamed on Rumble. According to Peters, the OceanGate submarine was purposely sunk “to keep people from visiting the Titanic wreckage” because doing so would supposedly reveal that the Titanic “was sunk by a newly created” Rothschilds-connected Federal Reserve and not an iceberg. Later in the show, Peters brought on Zach Vorhies, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist, who claimed that “explosives were placed on the Titanic to blow it out.” [Media Matters, 7/19/23]
    • On a June 19 Rumble stream, Fuentes denounced various civil rights efforts as about “the third world recolonization of America.” Fuentes stated, “I’m sick of hearing about this Black minority in America, because that’s what they are. They were a cheap labor source when the country was founded. They were slaves. And then from the time they were freed until now they’ve been a small, you can call it racial but really it’s sort of like an ethnic thing, there are — you have white Americans and Black Americans. And they have been an ethnic enclave minority ever since.” [Rumble, America First, 6/19/23]
    • On June 16, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes went on a racist diatribe about teaching American history on the Alex Jones’ Infowars show, which was uploaded to Rumble. McInnes claimed, “We did not burn down Black Wall Street; your teacher is lying.” He continued, “There was a race riot that started after a justified arrest. Blacks started shooting, whites started shooting. A massive riot broke out and they brought in the National Guard to try to stop it. Yes, buildings were burned; that’s because there were snipers on the roof. You explain that Emmett Till was guilty. You explain that we didn’t take the land from the Indians. … You’ve got to tell them that their teachers were lying." [Rumble, The Alex Jones Show, 6/16/23]
    • On a May 22 Rumble stream, Crowder mocked an NAACP travel advisory and claimed that “African culture” is “lip spacers” and “neck extenders.” During that same episode, comedian Nick DiPaolo added, “Some people say good, you know, stay the hell away. It's the Sunshine State and you guys obviously don't need any more sunshine. Look at you.” [Rumble, Louder with Crowder, 5/22/23]
    • After Jordan Neely, a homeless man from New York City, was killed on the subway, Fuentes said during a May 5 livestream on Rumble, “A lot of George Floyds and Neelys are going to die before we’re going to have a civilization that our kids are going to be safe to live in.” He also claimed that “people just have to develop a stomach for this sort of thing." [Rumble, America First, 5/5/23]
    • On March 22, Steven Crowder fearmongered that “if you see a Black American, there's a 50-50 shot that they don't know if they think you have the right to exist.” [Rumble, Louder with Crowder, 3/22/23]
  • Anti-LGBTQ content that spreads false and harmful rhetoric has proliferated across the platform

    • On June 26, Rumble podcaster Shawn Farash warned LGBTQ people that “If you come for their kids, they're probably going to exercise their Second Amendment rights.” He also baselessly claimed, “The left has been hijacked, the Pride movement has been hijacked, the LGB community has been hijacked by pedophiles.” [LFATV, Ungoverned with Shawn Farash, 6/26/23]
    • In a June 22 Rumble video, “Rumble Exclusives” creator Nick Rekieta said, “Let's be honest that homosexuality is statistically and naturally aberrant. … Why are we pretending that it is not non-normative? It's non-normative. By statistics, it's non-normative. It's not even close.” He added, “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. Because, bro, that's fucking gross.” [Rumble, Rekieta Law, 6/22/23]
    • 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. Rekeita said, “Why the fuck did you ever think that your shitty, generic, Bud Light, play-to-the-middle beer, could take a niche political stance and shove it down your customers' throats and change their minds? My God, that is like McDonald's telling me how to think. There's other chicken nuggets you f–––––s. I can get them anywhere. I don't care about yours." [Rumble, Rekieta Law, 6/20/23]
    • During a June 19 Rumble livestream, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle told conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec that drag queens “are the devil's advocates.” She also claimed that drag queens are “trying to remove religion and wipe and eradicate it out of everyone's heart, destroy Christ.” [Rumble, The Kimberly Guilfoyle Show, 6/19/23]
    • On a June 16 Rumble livestream, Seamus Coughlin, a recurring co-host of Tim Pool’s Timcast IRL, claimed that supporters of trans youth are trying to “pervert children.” He said, “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.” [Rumble, Shamer with Seamous Coughlin, 6/16/23]
    • On a June 15 livestream on Rumble, Turning Point USA host Drew Hernandez fearmongered that the LGBTQ movement’s “end game is to sterilize humanity, depopulate, so that the homosexuals can just abduct children.” Afterward, he also baselessly claimed that “the economy is not going to be accessible to you if you do not worship homosexuality.” [Rumble, Drew Hernandez Live, 6/15/23, 6/15/23
    • Hernandez also called New York a “pedophile haven” because New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order to protect access to gender-affirming care. He added, “So come to New York and bring your children and place them on the altar for Lucifer so we can sacrifice your children to them and hack their bodies and drink their blood.” [Rumble, Drew Hernandez Live, 6/15/23
    • On the June 15 edition of The Rubin Report, which was livestreamed on Rumble, host Dave Rubin baselessly fearmongered that in California, if a parent doesn’t “affirm” their child’s trans identity, “The state can now come and take your child away from you.” He continued, “Child services can come and now say, ‘Your child is not yours.’ In essence, you are abusing your child. They will put that child in some sort of state facility or give them to some other group of people who will literally chemically castrate them, force them to undergo drugs and procedures and all of that stuff, that is happening in California right now.” [Rumble, The Rubin Report, 6/15/23]
    • That same day, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk celebrated being able to use an anti-trans slur on Rumble, saying, “Since we're on Rumble, we can say t––––– .” He also said, “We can say climate change is vastly overrated. The election, the 2020 election was stolen. … Vaccines probably, the mRNA vaccine probably hurts you. What else? ... Zelensky is a thug. T––––– .” [Rumble, THOUGHTCRIME, 6/15/23]
    • On June 10, anti-public school crusader Leila Centner appeared on Redacted News’ livestream on Rumble and insisted that the fight against drag queen story hour is “a spiritual war.” She stated: “This is a war. It's a spiritual war. And unless we work as hard as we can work to fight back and keep the souls of our children children, they're going to sexualize them, demonize them, and just continue to beat down their self-esteem and confidence.” [Rumble, Redacted News, 6/10/23]
    • On a June 1 Rumble livestream, Crowder praised Rumble for allowing him to use an anti-trans slur on the platform. Crowder joked, “Let me check with Rumble if it’s ok if I use the word t––––– Ring, ring. Rumble? We’re good.” Crowder then promoted Rumble again, arguing that conservatives should not rely on YouTube and Twitter due to their moderation policies: “There’s Rumble right there. Great, use Rumble. And let’s grow it. I want to see everyone on there.” [Rumble, Louder with Crowder, 6/1/23]
    • On a November 17, 2022, Rumble stream, Crowder falsely claimed that parents will have their children taken away if they don't take them to drag shows. He continued, “That's the goal here. It’s to create enough distance and separation between what parents might want for children, so that then they could get their claws in young, and then they could petition and lobby CPS.” [Rumble, Louder with Crowder, 11/17/22]