Mr. Pavlovski and a representative for Rumble did not respond to requests for interviews.
But he has made it clear in online comments to the creators of Rumble and others that his ambitions are much bigger than driving traffic to his website and apps. With investments from like-minded critics of Big Tech like Mr. Thiel, Mr. Pavlovski described his vision of building “New Internet” – an alternative web that is completely different from the dominant companies in the industry.
Rumble has built its own cloud service infrastructure and video streaming capabilities, providing it and its partners with greater independence from the Amazons and Microsofts of the internet – and ensuring that they cannot be closed if one of those providers decides to pull out on objectionable content. Deep in the minds of Rumble fans is the experience of social network Parler, which effectively shut down after Amazon said it would no longer host the website on its computer services. attack on 6 January last year.
The promise of independence from tech giants prompted Mr. Trump to ask Rumble to provide technology and cloud services to Truth Social, which has struggled to fully operate on its own. In a statement announcing the partnership in December, Mr Trump said he chose Rumble because it was among service providers that “do not discriminate on the basis of political ideology”.
Rumble has also secured exclusive deals with popular content creators who have a following beyond conservatives and Trump supporters, such as journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has taken to the top reputation for his belief that the tech giants and mainstream media have too much power to silence speech. Rumble highlighted its partnership with Mr. Greenwald as an example of a content-neutral approach. (For what it considers off-limits, Rumble says it doesn’t tolerate anything that is explicitly racist, promotes violence, or breaks the law.)
But there are also popular Rumble creators the company doesn’t cover in the news, 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 follow Mr. Jones, who has spread bogus theories that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was staged as part of a plot to confiscate his own guns. government. Those who study the right-wing media ecosystem say it’s difficult to know what the overall audience for far-right content is, in large part due to the traffic data available for private sites. Odds include many duplicates from users who frequently use more than one .
Yochai Benkler, a professor at Harvard Law School, co-author of a book on how conservative agencies reinforce their message through repetition and prevent dissent. For a platform as personal as Rumble, he added, the audience is likely to be larger than any size on paper.