Amidst the ousting of the Russian-backed Russia Today (RT) news channel from television and social media platforms, the video streaming platform Rumble issued a statement on Thursday clarifying that RT is just another user on their free speech-based platform.
"The US mainstream media, as it so often does when writing about Rumble, has spent the day disseminating a completely false and misleading story about our relationship to the Russia-state news network RT," a statement on Twitter reads.
"Contrary to false reports, RT did not join Rumble today or any time in the last several weeks," the statement added. "To the contrary, RT, like thousands of other users, has for a long while used Rumble, along with several other tech platforms, to publish their content."
"In this regard, their use of Rumble is exactly the same as their use of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter: they are like any other user, availing themselves of our platform."
The statement read that Rumble is a "neutral video platform" that was built on the belief that "all creators should have the opportunity to freely express themselves and reach their followers without censorship or restrictions."
"You cannot fight aggressive authoritarians by surrendering a key principle that separates us from them," the statement concludes.
In response to Rumble’s statement, journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote: "I'm proud to be associated with several of the handful of growing social media and news platforms that reject the hubristic view that its duty is to anoint itself arbiters of truth and falsity, and then censor the internet at the behest of DC Democrats and the US Security State."
The Russian media outlet RT was dropped by DirecTV earlier this week, which said, "In line with our previous agreement with RT America. We are accelerating this year's contract expiration timeline and will no longer offer their programming effective immediately."
RT has also been broadly banned across Europe, with the European Commission calling it "the Kremlin's media machine." It has been banned on YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook in Europe.
In addition, RT’s American arm announced on Thursday that it would be "ceasing production... as a result of unforeseen business interruption events," according to the Daily Mail.
"Unfortunately, we anticipate this layoff will be permanent, meaning that this will result in the permanent separation from employment of most T&R employees at all locations," Misha Solodvnikov, the general manager of T&R Production, wrote. "We deeply regret and understand the uncertainty this action will cause our valued employees."
According to the Daily Mail, RT is "seen as one of Putin's main mouthpieces in the US," and had recently referred to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a "minor incursion intended for defensive purposes."
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