The Canadian video platform Rumble is once again showing their true colors this week after threatening competitor and actual free speech video hosting platform Odysee with legal action over a tweet. This isn’t the first time the Rumble has taken action that is antithetical to protecting free speech online. As National File reported back in June, Rumble abruptly changed their terms of service to ban “hate speech” and “antisemitism” on the very same day that Donald Trump joined the platform.
The tweet from Odysee questioned the authenticity of Rumble’s traffic. In particular Odysee noted that for a video platform Rumble has a very low visit duration time of just over a minute and a half per visit. In comparison other video platforms have much higher visit durations, for example Odysee’s is over 7 minutes, Bitchute’s is almost 8 minutes, and YouTube’s is 21 minutes.
In response, Odysee received a letter from Rumble’s attorneys threatening “aggressive action” if the tweet was not removed by 5pm on December 10th. This of course drew even more attention to Odysee’s tweet after they shared the threatening legal letter on Twitter, calling Rumble’s bluff.
I had the chance to speak with Odysee CEO Julian Chandra who had this to say about the ordeal:
I used to have a lot of respect for Rumble’s supposed mission. Their course of action here exemplifies what their actual priorities and attitudes are concerning open discussion and speech. They’re threatening to sue over a tweet! If they truly believed in open discussion and debate as they have claimed all this time, they should have replied on Twitter.
Why move to a platform that has the same rules as Big Tech? Why move to a platform that is beholden to Canadian law? Why move to a platform that markets themselves as a free speech alternative only to ban “hate speech” and send their lawyers after a competing company over a tweet?
Rumble’s Terms of Service are now no different than any Big Tech platform. The major difference is that unlike Rumble, Big Tech platforms are at least American companies and have the opportunity to defend free speech protected by the First Amendment as companies like Gab and Odysee are. Rumble, as a Canadian company, does not. So as Conservatives are being told by the talking heads in Conservative Inc. circles to use Rumble, these are things they should keep in mind.
Jesus Christ is King of Kings
December 9th, 2021