Video streaming site Rumble, which platforms QAnon conspiracy theorists, men facing sexual misconduct allegations, and a white nationalist influencer, has a new opportunity in its sights: Jordan Peterson.
In a tweet on Monday, Peterson complained he was facing censorship on YouTube, where he claimed “pathological shadow-figures” were hiding his name from search results.
Another X user was quick to offer Rumble as an alternative for Peterson to post his videos.
“You're worth millions. Why don't you use new tech? I bet @rumblevideo would put your video on the front page every time!” wrote The Quartering, a livestreamer who has been banned from Magic the Gathering events over harassment allegations.
Rumble's account jumped in to respond: “Yes, we would.”
This is a revealing statement from the increasingly ambitious video-streaming platform that hosts people who have been banned from other platforms.
Rumble was founded by Chris Pavlovski as an alternative to YouTube. Over the years, Rumble has promoted itself as a “neutral” platform for creators disillusioned with YouTube's enforcement of its content moderation policy.
“My goal is to keep it as fair as possible. We’re not interested in taking any position on any type of content, we just want to be a platform.” Pavlovski told Fox Business in 2021.
The offer to put Peterson front and center on Rumble's homepage suggests the company may not be as neutral as it says it is. Rather, it's another data point in Rumble's long history of inviting toxic personalities and conspiracy theorists to stream on its platform.
Pavlovski publicly approached Joe Rogan with a $100 million offer last year — right as the podcaster was facing backlash for repeatedly using a racial slur on his Spotify show. Rogan turned down the offer. Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and white supremacist Nick Fuentes also call the platform home following their respective permabans from YouTube. Russell Brand, who multiple women and girls have accused of sexual assault, also streams there.
Rumble’s recommendation algorithm also sends visitors to misinformation, according to Wired. A study of over 6,000 recommendations in 2021 found that the site can suggest harmful content more often than not.
So what would it mean for Peterson, who has helped spread climate change denialism and vaccine misinformation, to make it to Rumble's homepage? That Rumble isn't as neutral as they want us to believe. They have an agenda, too.