The extreme right-wing video-sharing platform Rumble, which is set to host the official livestream for the first Republican primary debate in August, recently removed a video of Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes’ antisemitic America First rally. While Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has championed Rumble as the platform of choice for “freedom of speech,” he has been silent on the platform’s recent decision to remove Fuentes’ antisemitic content.
While Rumble removed Fuentes' videos, which captured the virulently antisemitic comments he made during a rally on July 16, the platform is still profiting from videos of the rally being shared by other users. Founder and CEO Chris Pavlovski previously boasted that, unlike the other social media platforms, Rumble will “hold the line” against supposed censorship. Still, the platform does have policies against “racism, anti-semitism and hatred,” as well as against content that “promotes, supports, or incites violence.” In a few instances, Rumble has removed videos that violate these policies, but the platform also has a clear history of profiting from — and in some instances even sponsoring — content that seemingly violates them.
DeSantis has a history of championing the platform, with his office declaring the site its “video-sharing service of choice.” He has also pledged to boycott rival platform YouTube and has seemingly done so -- not posting on his official YouTube for at least two years. DeSantis’ official press briefings are streamed on Rumble, and his campaign website promotes and utilizes the platform.
DeSantis has repeatedly lashed out at other social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook for their content moderation practices and has pushed the debunked talking point that social media networks unfairly target conservatives. He has even taken steps to pass legislation to “stop the censorship of Floridians by Big Tech.”
Despite DeSantis’ history of passionately defending Rumble as a champion of “free speech” — or at least the right’s distorted definition of the phrase — and his proclivity for interpreting any form of content moderation as a violation of civil rights, the governor has remained silent when it comes to Rumble choosing to remove antisemitic content from its platform.