Rumble no longer accessible in France after refusing to comply with government pressure to remove Russian news sources

Rumble has cut off access to its users in France to combat the pressure from the government to remove Russian channels and to simultaneously make a statement about anti-censorship.

The CEO of Rumble, Chris Pavlovski, wrote on X: “The French Government has demanded that Rumble block Russian news sources. Like Elon Musk, I won't move our goal posts for any foreign government. Rumble will turn off France entirely (France isn't material to us) and we will challenge the legality of this demand.”

The Russian accounts he referenced are Russia Today and Sputnik which have been viewed by European authorities as Russian propaganda channels, The European Conservative reports. The channels have been largely banned in the West from sites such as Facebook and their apps have been removed from Apple and Microsoft stores since its invasion in Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to keep “gullible” French citizens from viewing content from these channels in an interview with France 2. He stated: “We are using the informational weapon, and Russia was doing it even before [the war] by spreading propaganda on social networks, through propaganda channels that we have cut off on our soil but which still continue to find channels to broadcast.”

Elon Musk similarly took the stand that Pavlovski referenced back in March when he reported: “Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

Starlink is Musk’s internet infrastructure company which has been providing Ukraine with internet amid the war with Russia.

Another post from Rumble’s company account said the move was to ensure there would be no pressure to go against the company’s mission for a “free and open internet.”

They also stated: “Users with unpopular views are free to access our platform on the same terms as our millions of other users. Accordingly, we have decided to disable access to Rumble for users in France while we challenge the legality of the government’s demands,” adding that “We hope the French government reconsiders its decision so we can restore access soon.”


Image: Title: Pavlovski Rumble
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