Rumble, a video sharing platform that stresses its commitment to free speech, filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against the founders of an organization that seeks to defund conservatives.
Check My Ads co-founders Nandini Jammi and Claire Atkin, as part of their work, routinely pressure advertisers and ad exchanges to boycott conservative news sites and alternative media platforms, citing concerns over hate speech and so-called misinformation. Rumble alleges the defendants knowingly published falsehoods to hurt Rumble and neglected to correct them when pushed to do so.
BREAKING: Rumble Files Federal Defamation Lawsuit
“This lawsuit opens up another front in the ongoing war against censorship, much like X’s recently filed suit against Media Mattersa … and Truth Social’s lawsuit against 20 media outlets.”https://t.co/cjYtDpC46H
— Rumble – ☠️ $RUM (@rumblevideo) November 29, 2023
“Defendants have repeatedly peddled the false narrative that Rumble is primarily monetized by and wholly dependent upon revenue from Google Ads, when in reality, Google Ads now represents less than 1% of the Company’s revenue,” the lawsuit states. “This narrative is particularly damaging to Rumble. The notion that Rumble is heavily dependent on ad revenue from Google is wholly inconsistent with Rumble’s publicly stated mission to be free from the political and economic pressures of Big Tech. And it is equally damaging to Rumble because it falsely attributes a material and existential financial risk to the Company that Defendants’ stated mission to eliminate Rumble’s Google Ad revenue will cause Rumble’s financial collapse.”
Rumble is seeking financial and other punitive damages, according to the lawsuit. It is also requesting the court block the defendants from continuing to issue allegedly false statements.
“This lawsuit opens up another front in the ongoing war against censorship, much like X’s recently filed suit against Media Matters—another entity that tries to shut down dissent online,” Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski stated in a press release accompanying the lawsuit. “For those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas, it is important to stand up to bullies—and people who lie and use intimidation tactics are most assuredly bullies, just as they are enemies of free speech.”
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that Jammi and Atkin have claimed that Rumble deceives shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission about how well it is doing financially and about where it gains revenue from ads.
“Defendants’ false statements accusing Rumble of lying to investors are defamatory per se because they impute to Rumble an infamous crime–specifically, securities fraud—and they impute to Rumble conduct incompatible with the proper execution of lawful business,” the lawsuit states.
Check My Ads in September urged advertisers to abandon Rumble, dubbing it the “internet’s most toxic platform.”
While the group asserts its “current mission” is to “dismantle the disinformation economy,” its focus has predominantly been on targeting conservatives. Check My Ads applies pressure on advertisers to depart from right-leaning media like Fox News to “defund hate speech and disinformation,” according to its website.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s social media platform X — formerly Twitter — recently filed a defamation lawsuit against Media Matters over its allegations that advertisements from major advertisers show up on antisemitic content.
Check My Ads did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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