Rumble rejects MP's 'disturbing' letter over Russell Brand income – BBC

Video site Rumble has hit out at a UK Parliamentary committee that asked if it would cut Russell Brand's income in the wake of sexual assault allegations.
Dame Caroline Dinenage, chair of the House of Commons media committee, wrote to Rumble to say she was "concerned" that he could profit from his content.
But Rumble said that was "an extremely disturbing letter" and that the company would not "join a cancel culture mob".
Brand has strongly denied the allegations of rape and sexual assault.
The star has 1.4 million followers on Rumble, where he posted a daily show until the allegations emerged last week.
His most recent video was on Friday, before Channel 4, the Times and Sunday Times revealed its investigation into him. In it, he said his relationships had been "always consensual" and he was the subject of a "co-ordinated attack".
But on Tuesday, YouTube announced it was suspending him from making money from adverts for "violating" its "creator responsibility policy".
Dame Caroline then wrote to Rumble, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook owner Meta asking if they would follow suit.
In her letter to Rumble chief executive Chris Pavlovski, she said: "While we recognise that Rumble is not the creator of the content published by Mr Brand, we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform.
"We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Brand is able to monetise his content, including his videos relating to the serious accusations against him. If so, we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand's ability to earn money on the platform.
"We would also like to know what Rumble is doing to ensure that creators are not able to use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims of inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviour."
The company posted its response on X.
"While Rumble obviously deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes, and believes that both alleged victims and the accused are entitled to a full and serious investigation, it is vital to note that recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble's platform," it said.
Noting YouTube's move, it said Rumble "stands for very different values".
"We have devoted ourselves to the vital cause of defending a free internet – meaning an internet where no one arbitrarily dictates which ideas can or cannot be heard, or which citizens may or may not be entitled to a platform.
"We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so.
"Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble. We don't agree with the behavior of many Rumble creators, but we refuse to penalize them for actions that have nothing to do with our platform.
"Although it may be politically and socially easier for Rumble to join a cancel culture mob, doing so would be a violation of our company's values and mission. We emphatically reject the UK Parliament's demands."
On Monday, police said they had received a report of an alleged sexual assault in central London in 2003, following accusations from four women in the Channel 4 and newspaper investigation.
A police unit set up in the wake of crimes by Jimmy Savile is now supporting detectives looking into allegations against Brand.
Operation Hydrant, run by police chiefs in England and Wales, was set up in 2014 to co-ordinate responses to historical allegations of abuse.
A spokesperson said: "We are supporting the Metropolitan Police in their response to recent allegations and would urge any victim or survivor who feels ready to report any allegations of sexual assault to come forward and speak to officers."
Meanwhile, in her letter to X, Dame Caroline noted owner Elon Musk's reply to Brand's video denying the allegations, when he wrote: "Of course. They don't like competition."
In light of that comment, the MP asked "whether Mr Musk has personally intervened in any decisions on Mr Brand's status on the platform".
Her committee has not yet published any response from the platform to her letter.
TikTok has replied to her, saying it has strict guidelines and will "continue to keep Mr Brand's content under review".
But unlike YouTube, it does not pay users a share of revenue from advertising that runs alongside specific videos. Instead, it has a "creator fund".
"I can confirm that Mr Brand has never been part of this programme", TikTok's vice president for public policy Europe, Dr Theo Bertram, said.
Asked about YouTube's move, UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer told BBC Radio 4's The Media Show on Wednesday: "Everyone will take independent decisions in relation to actions that concern them. That is appropriate.
"There are a number of elements to this, so it's really important that people come forward and the justice system works for them."
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