Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Research/Study Research/Study

QAnon supporters find a home on Rumble, dominating the platform's leaderboard of most-liked daily videos

Videos from QAnon-supporting Rumble channels appeared on the platform's leaderboard every day for the last three months — a total of 603 times

Rumble, a video-sharing platform that has marketed itself as “neutral” but has allowed and even encouraged right-wing conspiracy theories and misinformation, has become the home of at least 27 QAnon-supporting channels that have been banned from other platforms and frequently appear among Rumble’s most-liked videos each day.

In a new study, Media Matters analyzed Rumble’s “Battle Leaderboard Top 50” — which is a prominently displayed ranking of the 50 most-liked videos from the previous 24 hours — every day for three months. We found that videos from QAnon channels that feature shows or figures who have historically and openly promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory appeared on Rumble’s leaderboard every day between February 1 and April 30 — a total of 603 times.

  • In its mission “to take on Big Tech,” Rumble has become rife with harmful right-wing content that’s banned on other platforms, including the QAnon conspiracy theory

  • Rumble is known primarily for functioning as a video-sharing platform like YouTube, or as a streaming platform like Twitch, but its co-founder and CEO Chis Pavlovski has promoted it as an alternative outlet that is “immune from cancel culture,” appealing to conservatives who have falsely claimed for years that social media companies are biased against them. Pavlovski’s platform, which launched in 2013 and is now backed by various right-wing operatives, has big ambitions to be the “new frontier in social media” and has recruited a cadre of exclusive content creators who traffic in conspiracy theories and bigoted rhetoric for that objective. In a recent appearance on Fox & Friends, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced that Rumble would exclusively livestream the GOP’s first 2024 presidential primary debate as part of the RNC “getting away from Big Tech.” 

    Rumble’s supposed mission “to take on Big Tech” and “defend free speech and the right to think differently” has ultimately led the platform to become absolutely rife with false, bigoted, hateful, dangerous, and violent content — in part because it has encouraged creators banned on other platforms to find a home on Rumble. Most recently, Rumble expressed interest in having Tucker Carlson join the platform after his firing from Fox News, with Pavlovski alleging, “Cable television is now completely controlled speech. Rumble is the only bastion for authentic speech.”

  • Pavlovski tweet calling Rumble the last bastion of authentic speech
  • Major social media companies such as Meta, YouTube, and TikTok, as well as other streaming platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify, have or would seem to have policies against the QAnon conspiracy theory — which revolves around an anonymous account known as “Q” and has been tied to deadly incidents, including the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Multiple government agencies have also issued internal warnings about the threat of domestic terrorism from supporters of the conspiracy theory

    While banned on other platforms, supporters of the conspiracy theory have found a home on Rumble, which does not have any policies explicitly prohibiting QAnon content.  

    Since Rumble and its partners have courted, praised, and repeatedly promoted QAnon figures and supporters, it’s unsurprising that Rumble has become rife with dangerous QAnon content as well. Media Matters’ latest study shows the extent to which QAnon figures and supporters have permeated the platform.

  • Videos from QAnon channels appeared on Rumble's leaderboard every day over the last three months, accounting for 603 total videos

  • Media Matters analyzed the 50 most-liked videos on Rumble from February 1 to April 30 and found that videos from QAnon channels appeared on this leaderboard every day for the last three months — a total of 603 times. 

    In addition, videos from QAnon channels actually appeared in the top 10 spots of the leaderboard 86 of the 89 days studied, or 97% of the days studied.

  • Media Matters found that videos from QAnon channels were the most-liked video on Rumble 23 days during the time frame studied. Videos from QAnon channels were also among the top 3 most-liked videos at least 116 times and the top 5 most-liked videos at least 177 times.

  • QAnon top 1 spot embed option 2

    Citation Sampling of videos from the QAnon channels “And We Know,” “Phil Godlewski 2.0,” and “X22 Report” that were ranked as the most-like video on Rumble

  • QAnon channels popular on Rumble include “Badlands Media,” “X22 Report,” and “And We Know”

  • Of the 27 QAnon channels that Media Matters identified, three of them — “Badlands Media,” “X22 Report,” and “And We Know” — appeared on the leaderboard most frequently.

    The Badlands Media channel, which appeared on the leaderboard 168 times in the last three months, was founded and organized by a collection of QAnon influencers in 2022 and now publishes multiple shows by those influencers. In March, Badlands Media announced on Twitter that it had surpassed 10 million monthly views — its “best month to date.”

  • Rumble RT Badlands March 2023
  • The X22 Report channel, which appeared on the leaderboard 143 times, is the official channel for a QAnon-promoting show which has been directly linked to at least one act of real-world violence. 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.’” 

    The channel has also seemingly received praise from Pavlovski. On an April 14 episode of X22 Report, Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes revealed that Pavlovski told him that the show is “huge” and has a “massive following” on the platform. 

  • Video file

    Citation From the April 14, 2023, edition of X22 Report, streamed on Rumble

  • Videos from the And We Know channel appeared on the leaderboard 64 times, and in the top 3 spots 48 times. The titles of some of these videos reference war — including following former President Donald Trump’s indictment, when the channel did a livestream warning about a “day of reckoning.”

  • And We Know rumble collage embed
  • QAnon channels were among the top 3 most-liked daily videos more frequently than Rumble Exclusives creators

  • Beginning in at least September 2021, Rumble began signing contracts with creators to produce exclusive content either on Rumble itself or on its paid subscription service, “Locals” — later referring to them as “Rumble Exclusives.” These creators include pro-Trump pranksters, professional fighters, and a dangerous array of bigoted pundits and conspiracy theorists — many of whom have been suspended from or demonetized by other platforms.

    Rumble Exclusives represents the company’s efforts to draw a larger audience to its platform, but videos from these creators appeared on the leaderboard 608 times, just barely outnumbering the 603 videos from QAnon channels. 

    Videos from Rumble Exclusives creators were the most-liked video 58 days during the studied time period, or 65% of the time, outpacing QAnon channels which were the most-liked video 23 days, or 26% of the time. 

    QAnon channels, however, outpaced Rumble Exclusives creators among the top 3 and top 5 most-liked videos each day. QAnon channels accounted for 116 videos in the top 3 on Rumble’s leaderboard, or 43% of all videos in the top 3 during the time frame studied, compared to 97 videos from Rumble Exclusives creators, or 36%. Additionally, QAnon channels accounted for 177 videos, or 40% of all videos in the top 5, compared to 126 videos from Rumble Exclusives creators, or 28%.

    Notably, nearly half of the 3 most-liked Rumble videos each day over the last three months were from QAnon-supporting or QAnon-adjacent channels. 

  • Chart Nearly half of the 3 most-liked Rumble videos each day over the last three months were from QAnon-supporting or QAnon-adjacent channels
  • Videos from QAnon-adjacent channels appeared on Rumble’s leaderboard on 88 of the 89 days studied, accounting for 348 total videos

  • In addition to Rumble’s QAnon channels, the platform’s leaderboard also featured at least another 19 QAnon-adjacent channels that either belong to people who have some significant connection or historical affiliation with QAnon, have repeatedly hosted QAnon figures, have at least one Rumble video dedicated to the conspiracy theory, or have multiple Rumble videos that feature QAnon-related imagery. 

    These QAnon-adjacent channels are responsible for 348 videos that appeared on the leaderboard 88 of the 89 days studied. Videos from the channel “On the Fringe,” which has the QAnon slogan in the bio of its Truth Social account, have appeared on Rumble’s leaderboard 85 times in the last three months, with many of them pushing conspiracy theories related to the “deep state” and “war.” 

  • On the Fringe embed collage
  • Videos from the channel “michaelj5326” have appeared on the leaderboard 50 times in the last three months, several of which feature QAnon influencers as guests — such as Juan O. Savin, who was heavily involved in efforts to recruit and promote far-right candidates for election administration positions around the country.