The lawsuit also lists as defendants John Doe 1 through 10, "who helped prepare and publish the defamatory information on their website," Rumble wrote in a press release.
Check My Ads is a "tax-exempt corporation that routinely targets news outlets and platforms that do not adhere to their political worldview."
"As an unapologetically free-speech platform, Rumble’s mission is to provide all content creators and users a place to speak, listen, and debate freely, regardless of their political perspective. When anti-free speech zealots, whose self-declared mission is to shut Rumble down, lie to inflict intentional economic harm on our company, we have no choice but to hold them accountable," said Rumble Chairman and CEO Chris Pavlovski.
"Defamation is not free speech. We have filed this lawsuit because we have a responsibility to our shareholders, creators, users, and advertisers to act, and not sit idly by, when someone attacks our company’s reputation solely to silence differing political views. Our mission requires it."
The lawsuit alleges that Jammi and Atkin accused Rumble of lying to its shareholders as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission about the company’s financial health and the source of the company’s revenue.
"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 suit 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."
The lawsuit also notes that the defendants had known their claim about Rumble’s reliance on Google Ad revenue was false, and the defendants refused to issue a correction when Rumble demanded that they retract the false statements.
Rumble is seeking damages as well as costs and fees associated with the case, and is urging the judge to prohibit the defendants from repeating false statements about the company.
"The irony is that the defendants piously claim to be in the business of protecting all of us from disinformation, but they are the ones lying to the public," Pavlovski said. "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—and Truth Social’s lawsuit against 20 media outlets. 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."
Jammi, Rumble noted, has a record of launching "pressure campaigns against advertisers on other outlets" including Breitbart and Fox News, and has worked alongside the left-wing organization Media Matters to get advertisers to stop spending on conservative outlets.
In a post titled "8 Things To Know About Rumble, The Toxic Platform That Will Stream The GOP Debate" from October, Check My Ads claimed that the platform is "heavily monetized by Google Ads."
"Rumble loves to boast about being free from Big Tech. In reality, the business appears to be heavily dependent on Google Ads, by far its largest advertising partner — and advertisers often have no idea their ads are appearing there. Rumble is part of Google Video Partners, which means Google dumps inventory there that many advertisers assume is going to YouTube," they wrote.
The watchdog group also claimed that "violent conspiracy theories are free to spread on Rumble" and the platform "actively courts toxic creators," citing Joe Rogan being approached by the platform, and figures like Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, and Dan Bongino being hosted there.
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