Bosses at the video sharing site Rumble have hit out at MPs after the company received a letter asking if they would be demonetising content from Russell Brand in light of sexual assault allegations against the comedian.
The House of Commons media committee wrote to several social media sites including Rumble, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook in light of the rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse allegations made against Brand following a joint investigation by Channel 4 and The Times. Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage wrote to say that she was "concerned" that Brand could continue to profit from content posted on the site.
Dame Dinenage said in the letter: "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."
Brand is a frequent user of Rumble, and has around 1.4 million followers. Before the allegations were made late last week, the comedian published a daily show on the site, alongside publishing on sites such as YouTube.
While YouTube has already announced that it has suspended the monetisation of Brand's channel following the allegations being made, Rumble has said that the allegations "have nothing to do with content on Rumble's platform".
In response, Rumble said: "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."