Update (6/8/23): Following publication, Sneako’s May 30 livestream and two additional videos included in the article are no longer available on Rumble.
Content warning: This article contains examples and descriptions of hate speech.
Rumble promoted and profited from misogynistic streamer Sneako’s six-hour livestream with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and fellow “manosphere” influencers Jon Zherka and Myron Gaines. The May 30 livestream featured numerous severely anti-LGBTQ and antisemitic rants, including Holocaust denial and homophobic slurs. This hateful content seemingly violates Rumble’s policy against antisemitism, as well as the policies of app stores hosting the platform.
Rumble, which is set to host an exclusive livestream for the first Republican presidential primary debate in August, prides itself on its lax to nonexistent content moderation and promises to be “immune from cancel culture.” Rumble is openly attempting to become “the new frontier in social media” by recruiting pundits and pranksters who have been banned, often repeatedly, for policy violations on other social media platforms.
Rumble does have policies against hate speech, including antisemitism, and has in at least one instance removed monetized videos espousing Holocaust denial. But the platform remains rife with extremist content, seemingly violating the policies of Google Play and Apple’s App Store — where Rumble has recently bragged that it surpassed mainstream platforms in popularity. The Apple App Store, for example, not only states that apps should not feature “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups,” but affirms that “if you’re looking to shock and offend people, the App Store isn’t the right place for your app.” Similarly, Google Play claims not to allow apps with content “denying the occurrence of a well-documented, major tragic event” or those that “promote violence, or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, … sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, caste, immigration status, or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization.”
Sneako’s May 30 livestream is seemingly the latest example of Rumble’s content violating these app store policies. The livestream was also monetized, meaning that the platform is profiting from running ads alongside its hateful content. Rumble even promoted the livestream on its daily “Battle Leaderboard Top 50,” where it was listed as the fourth most-liked video on the platform from that day.
The May 30 Rumble livestream featured influencers known for pushing misogyny and white nationalism
Sneako (real name Nico Kenn De Balinthazy) and Gaines (real name Amrou Fudl) are known acolytes of Andrew Tate, the misogynist guru to young men who is currently on house arrest in Romania while under investigation for alleged rape and human trafficking.
Like Tate, Sneako is banned from YouTube and has been welcomed by Rumble. Since February 1, 50 of his videos have appeared on Rumble’s “Battle Leaderboard Top 50,” a prominently displayed ranking of the 50 most-liked videos on the platform from the previous 24 hours.
Unlike Tate, Gaines — author of Why Women Deserve Less and co-host of Fresh & Fit, the self-proclaimed “#1 men’s podcast in the world” — is still active on YouTube, where the podcast’s channel has over 1.4 million subscribers. Gaines is known for pushing a range of racist and misogynistic rhetoric, including claims that “race issues are issues for poor people” and that it’s cheating for a woman in a relationship to have an Instagram account.
Fuentes is an avowed white supremacist and Holocaust denier, who also has several egregiously racist, antisemitic, and seemingly violative videos on Rumble, despite complaining that he’s been censored on the platform. The May 30 video, which Fuentes celebrated for reaching nearly half a million views, is at least the 8th time Fuentes has been featured on Sneako’s channel.
Sneako’s Rumble livestream with a Holocaust denier and misogynist influencers was riddled with homophobic slurs and antisemitic tirades
When Gaines arrived on the livestream, he immediately used aggressively homophobic slurs and then showed a handgun on camera, saying, “We got guns, we’re fucking ready in this bitch.” Zherka then joked about using the gun to shoot the one woman they were with.
Gaines went on to praise Rumble, saying, “Bro, when we’re on Rumble, I can say whatever the fuck I want to say. I am unleashed, unleashed on Rumble. Shout out to Rumble, man. We got guns on camera, he’s doing coke in the bathroom, it’s fucking lit.”
Once Fuentes joined, the streamers repeatedly pushed antisemitism and Holocaust denial:
- After Sneako requested the discussion “stay away from the years 1939 to 1945,” Gaines explained that he refers to Jewish people as “dem boys” and asked Fuentes about “involvement” in the 9/11 terror attacks. Fuentes said that he thinks “Israel did 9/11.”
- Fuentes went on to blame “all these Jewish neocons” for the U.S. war in Iraq and praised Zherka for his “anti-Muslim” views, claiming that “Jews tricked us into hating Muslims for the wrong reasons. They're like, you got to hate Muslims because they're all terrorists. It's like, no, we don't got to hate Muslims because they're terrorists. We have to not like Muslims because they don't believe in Jesus.”
- Fuentes also baselessly claimed that the Nazis freed German Jews, saying that it “flies in the face of this rhetoric about a systematic extermination” that “they let them leave the country” and “form their own nation.”
As should be overwhelmingly clear given extensive evidence and testimony, Nazis in fact rounded people up and hunted them down, forcing many into hiding, and ultimately orchestrated a “deliberate, organized, state-sponsored persecution and machinelike murder” of millions, including Jewish people, LGBTQ people, disabled people, ethnic minorities, and perceived political enemies.
- Gaines’ responded to Fuentes by effectively denying that the Holocaust was a genocide, instead suggesting that Jewish people had “launched a war” against Nazi Germany first. He said, “No one talks about that dude, like it’s crazy how — I mean, if we're going to get really controversial — people don't talk about how dem boys launched a war, like they literally denounced the country of Germany prior to,” adding, “I'm not saying anything that isn't a fact. This is the truth. They let them go.”
- Fuentes then went on a rant complaining that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently visited Israel and has been “crowned” by various high-profile Jewish people, mentioning that right-wing Jewish billionaire tech investor David Sacks — who moderated DeSantis’ presidential announcement on Twitter — also happens to be a member of Rumble’s board of directors. Gaines followed up by claiming that he favors former President Donald Trump because Trump isn’t “compromised” or “controlled” by Jewish people “like a lot of these other politicians.”
- Zherka then asked Fuentes about Jewish “witchcraft,” to which Fuentes falsely claimed that Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, is essentially “communing with demons,” adding that Jewish people in medieval Europe “were using Christian blood in their rituals, and they were doing these sort of Black Masses.” Here, Fuentes is directly parroting the antisemitic propaganda of blood libel from the Middle Ages, which was also used by the Nazis to falsely allege that “Jews used the blood of non-Jewish, usually Christian children, for ritual purposes.” These false allegations regularly led to terroristic violence against Jewish people throughout history.
- Fuentes also falsely claimed that Jewish people worship “demons” rather than God and said that during Shabbat dinner, Jewish people “break off the biggest piece of bread as an offering to Satan.” Both of these claims, it should go without saying, are outrageous and categorically false. The most important, most frequently recited Jewish prayer is the Shema, or the daily affirmation of “belief in the singularity of God, that is, in God's oneness and incomparability.” Zherka nevertheless chimed in to say that supposed Jewish satanism is “clearly working, they’ve got all the money on Earth.”