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Is Gawker down? Thiel-funded Rumble joins Musk in suing speech police to kick out advertisers

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel drove Gawker into bankruptcy by funding an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the tabloid news site of Terry Bollea, aka former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose sex tape Gawker published.

Gawker's defenders alleged that Thiel's involvement was “reward” for coming out as gay a few years earlier.

“It's less about revenge and more about targeted deterrence,” he said in 2016 in his first interview after his identity was revealed. “I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by harassing people even when there was no connection to the public interest.”

Roughly seven years later, speech watchdogs aiming to starve less moderate tech platforms of ad revenue face a similar threat from Elon Musk's X, formerly Twitter, and now Rumble.

The YouTube alternative sued the founders of Check My Ads and unnamed individuals in federal court on Wednesday, alleging a “hypocritical disinformation campaign to censor, silence and quash speech by spreading false, materially misleading and defamatory statements “.

Founders Nandini Jammi and Claire Atkin also engaged in “criminal conduct in persuading advertisers to withdraw ad spend” from Rumble because it hosts “content creators who espouse views contrary to the defendants' hyper-partisan sensibilities.” Rumble outfit he says

Last month Musk followed to his pledges to be “thermonuclear” in Media Matters for America after the watchdog claimed X had placed ads from major brands, including Apple, “next to pro-Nazi content,” which X called “inorganic” results that followed the deliberate and undisclosed manipulation of its algorithms by MMFA.

Jammi earlier laughed off the threat of litigation against “spaceboi” Musk's Check My Ads, another of his targets, after the SpaceX founder threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League to kick out advertisers defaming him and X as anti-Semitic.

Rumble lost nearly $185 million in market cap in one week after one Posted on October 24th in Check My Ads who falsely claimed that Rumble was “heavily” dependent on Google Ads for its revenue, according to the suit. It also had to spend “tens of thousands of dollars on outside legal counsel and public relations firms.”

The October 24th post also noted this Thiel had invested in Rumble two years before that The Wall Street Journal it was Thiel's first investment in social media since Facebook. Rumble did not respond to questions about whether he is receiving outside legal funding from Thiel or others.

A month before Check My Ads has published a guide on how advertisers can block “the most toxic platform on the internet,” citing Rumble's refusal to de-monetize actor and podcast host Russell Brand in the wake of sexual assault allegations he has denied. I had already lost some advertisers about this decision.

By sharing the guide, Jammi cited the “fact” that Rumble is “largely monetized through Google Video Partners.” He accused Google of “criminal behavior” to allegedly make Rumble “viable” and Jammi has described his efforts as “demonetizing Rumble.”

The disinformation cops aren't Rumble's only threat.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has demanded that platforms explain how they removed “calls for violence against Muslim and Jewish peoples and institutions” following the Hamas terror attack in Israel.

James pulled out of the Rumble after his lawyers at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression said their demands violated the court order against the state's “hateful conduct” law.

FIRE criticized X for its “strategic demand against public participation” against MMFA in an unrelated Texas jurisdiction, demonstrating “the need for a federal anti-SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation] statute.” (He is not representing Rumble in the new lawsuit, which was filed in Rumble's Florida jurisdiction.)

While Rumble did not name MMFA as a defendant, he claims the organization “worked directly” with the defendants in their “concerted disinformation campaign.”

It is seeking the identities of up to 10 “unidentified employees of Check My Ads, Media Matters for America and/or Dewey Square Group,” a public affairs firm that Rumble claims was paid to conduct “non-public” analysis which formed the basis of Google Ads claims.

Rumble became a target by bucking the trend of Big Tech caving in the “Sleeping Giants Playbook-Media Matters,” referring to Jammi's previous companyand building its own infrastructure, including an ad network, “to avoid third-party dependencies for critical services wherever possible.”

Jammi and Atkin have “repeatedly planted the false narrative” that Rumble has lied to shareholders and the SEC about its financial health and sources of advertising revenue, the suit says. Although Jammi called his business a “house of cards” based on Google Ads, Rumble says he gets less than 1% of his revenue from Google Ads.

The defendants committed “actual malice,” the standard public figures must meet to prove defamation, through “reckless disregard for the truth,” the suit says: Rumble's public statements go back a year.

It got 45% of its revenue from “Google Ads and another external advertising network” in the second quarter of 2022, a figure that fell to 19% the following quarter and just 9% for Google Ads.

Jammi herself acknowledged her false claims, according to Rumble, when the company shared the numbers with her at X a year ago. “You are shockingly into the facts of a company that exists solely to stream conspiracy theorists who have been kicked off YouTube,” he posted.

Jammi, Atkin and Check My Ads did not respond Just the news inquiries

X and Rumble are crucial platforms for sharing viewpoints at odds with elite political and medical opinion, but also primary sources of media that challenge government narratives.

Irish Minister of Justice Helen McEntee said a detective told her X was the only platform to reject police requests to remove “vile items” from the November 23 Dublin riots which she says breach X's community standards.

Riots followed stabbing of children near an elementary schoolwhat year An Irish politician claimed it was committed by an Algerian immigrantBut police asked the public not to spread the word “misinformation and rumours” about the investigation.

the guardian reported that anger was fueled by the perception of unchecked and unchecked immigration, and Irish authorities confirmed that they were investigating 'Irish Lives Matter' graffiti as a hate crime.

YouTube inexplicably deleted an interview minutes after it went up Thursday night with COVID-19 policy critic Jessica Hockett, he said. Just the news Friday.

The education consultant went by “Emma Woodhouse” online when Musk's pre-Twitter briefly banned her for challenging pediatricians who claim that COVID infection is “much riskier” for children than vaccines.

On Thursday “Housatonic” The show continues live at the Rumblein which Hockett discussed his public records crusade investigate the veracity of New York City's official COVID records in the spring of 2020.

Among his findings: the the city's hospitals were at their busiest during the 2017-2018 flu season that “any time between the blocking orders” and January 2022, when the more infectious but milder Omicron strain went through the vaccinations. (Bill Gates, a major vaccine funder, called Omicron “a kind of vaccine.”)

YouTube parent Google did not respond Just the news queries for an explanation of the video removal.

Norton Antivirus also inexplicably flagged as “dangerous”. domain name Woodhouse purchased to redirect to it Substack Newslettershe said Just the news. When she complained, Norton has upgraded the rating to “caution.”

“Why is Norton in the business of evaluating content on Substack?” he asked rhetorically. Norton's owner, Gen, did not respond to questions.


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