Rumble, the video site from the right, has much bigger ambitions

Representatives from Mr Pavlovski and Rumble did not respond to interview requests.

But he has made it clear in streamed comments to the makers of Rumble and others that his ambitions far exceed increasing traffic to his website and app. With investment from like-minded critics of Big Tech such as Mr. Thiel, Mr. Pavlovski has outlined a vision for building a “new internet” — a kind of alt-web completely different from the dominant players in the industry.

Rumble has already built out its own cloud service infrastructure and video streaming capacity, giving it and its partners more independence from the Internet’s Amazons and Microsofts — and the assurance that they won’t be shut down if one of those providers decides to pull the plug over. offensive content. The experience of the social media network Parler is looming in the minds of Rumble fans, which was effectively shut down when Amazon said it would no longer host the site on its computer services after the January 6 attacks last year.

The promise of independence from the tech giants led Mr. Trump to let Rumble provide technology and cloud services for Truth Social, which has struggled to become fully operational on its own. In a statement announcing the partnership in December, Mr Trump said he chose Rumble because it is among the service providers “that do not discriminate against political ideology”.

Rumble has also made exclusive deals with popular content creators who have a following beyond conservatives and Trump supporters, such as journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has expressed his belief that tech giants and the mainstream media have too much power to destroy speech. . Rumble highlighted his partnership with Mr. Greenwald as an example of his content-neutral approach. (As for what it considers to be out of bounds, Rumble says it won’t tolerate anything that’s overtly racist, promotes violence, or breaks the law.)

But there are also the popular Rumble creators that the company doesn’t talk about in press releases, like Infowars’ Alex Jones, who was banned from YouTube and other mainstream platforms in 2018 and now has more than 100,000 Rumble followers.

That’s a small number compared to the millions on YouTube who followed Mr. Jones, who spread false theories that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was staged as part of a government plot to confiscate firearms. Those who study the right-wing media ecosystem say it’s hard to say how big the total audience for far-right content is, largely because the traffic data available for individual sites contains a lot of overlap of users visiting more than one site.

“It’s an intensely engaged population,” said Yochai Benkler, a Harvard Law School professor and co-author of a book on the ways conservative media amplify their messages by suppressing repetition and dissent. For an individual platform like Rumble, he added, the audience is likely larger than its size on paper.

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