Rumble Proposes an Open-Source Content Moderation Policy & Process to Improve Transparency & Put Creators First
“Despite the mainstream pressure, we have stayed true to our original content moderation philosophy since Rumble was founded in 2013,” said CEO Chris Pavlovski. “Our mission is to protect a free and open internet, and we will never ‘move the goal posts’ on our community unless required by law. We’re putting creators and users first by asking their views on the policies before we implement them. It’s a philosophy that we feel is incredibly important for our society and one that has progressively differentiated our company from big tech platforms that continue to embrace ‘cancel culture’.”
“Unlike other tech platforms, Rumble’s proposal will provide a free space for open discourse without politicized discrimination in the digital public square, while simultaneously protecting users from harassing behavior,” said Robert Barnes, founder of Barnes Law LLP and the creator of the “Barnes Law” video channel on Rumble.
“We seek clear, transparent rules and non-discriminatory enforcement without political or partisan bias.” said David Freiheit, founder of Freiheit Legal and the creator of the “Viva Frei” video channel on Rumble. “By starting with input from creators, these new content policies will help Rumble hold true to its mission of neutrality and ensure transparency for creators and users alike.”
Today, the first phase of the new content moderation process, Rumble released a new set of proposed content policies and removal and appeals process. [See the proposed “Rumble Rules” and removal and appeals process further below and provide feedback to [email protected]].
Rumble is a high-growth neutral video platform that is creating the rails and independent infrastructure designed to be immune to cancel culture. Rumble’s mission is to restore the Internet to its roots by making it free and open once again. Additionally, the company announced in December 2021 the execution of a definitive business combination agreement with CF Acquisition Corp. VI (NASDAQ: CFVI). See the announcement here: https://corp.rumble.com
Proposed Rumble Rules: Prohibited Content
Rumble seeks to provide an open space for content creators to freely express themselves to an engaged audience, within the limits of the law of their locale and without illicit misuse of the platform that could undesirably discourage open debate and free discussion of publicly important topics. In an era of cancel culture and de-platforming, Rumble is, and shall remain, a free space for open discourse. We aim to simultaneously protect users from illicit stalking behavior by bad faith users of the platform whose behavior discourages use of the service and who engage in unlawful discrimination. We provide these clear, transparent rules, and non-discriminatory enforcement thereof, without political or partisan bias. These rules are provided free of copyright and are opensource to all to copy and replicate in this effort to revolutionize the space for free speech on the internet and in the digital public square.
The freedom of expression Rumble seeks to preserve and protect on its platform protects against unlawful discriminatory use and, equally, prohibits discriminatory abuse of the service. It is the freedom to freely express oneself on subjects that may run contrary to the official narrative without fear of sanction or censorship from the platform. It is the freedom to hold and express unpopular beliefs. It is not the freedom to break the law or stalk others or misuse the platform to target people based on legally protected status. Rumble is not here to suppress the freedom of speech of others, nor to stalk or suppress others’ expression.
In that spirit, these are the proposed Rumble Rules:
All content uploaded to Rumble must abide by the applicable laws in your jurisdiction. Prohibited use of this service includes:
- using the service to incite or invite unlawful conduct, such as infringing legally-protected trademarks, unauthorized publication of legally-protected copyrighted material, confidential information, trade secrets, or proprietary information, and other such illicit acts, such as inciting violence, defaming others, doxing others, or illicitly invading the privacy of another individual;
- publishing obscenity, including pornography and nudity for a prurient purpose;
- stalking, such as misusing the platform to make others uncomfortable in their use of the platform through a pattern of continuous conduct, creating a reasonable fear in another person for their personal safety or deterring a reasonable user from use of the service in fear of such digital stalking;
- discriminating against others based on their legally protected status, such as attacking other users or content creators on the platform, based on that user’s race, religion, or other legally protected status;
- unauthorized advertising, soliciting information from a person under the age of 18, harvesting or collecting information for the purpose of unsolicited bulk communications, or using the service for any fraudulent purpose.
We will ensure that we comply with all applicable laws, while providing the most robust and civil platform for creative expression and meaningful discourse. Less censorious overseers and less hateful trolls. That is our promise to our content creators, our viewers, and the entire world.
Rumble Removal & Appeal Process
Rumble’s commitment to our community – of both content creators (“Creator(s)”), and content consumers (“Consumer(s)”) – is to ensure clarity, transparency, and the impartial and apolitical application of our rules and terms of service. While the free and meaningful expression of ideas is the ethos of our proverbial digital public square, we have established certain rules to remain compliant with applicable laws, and to foster and protect an environment in which the free and meaningful expression of ideas can in fact occur. We strive to implement these rules fairly and transparently, but it is possible that a Creator believes a video has been wrongly removed from the platform. This is our removal and appeals process:
Rumble will not employ automated flagging of uploaded content with the exception of copyright infringement and pornographic material (“Automated Flagging”).
With the exception of Automated Flagging, all other identification of potentially contravening content (“Alleged Contravening Content”) is done on an ad hoc basis by Creators or Consumers (“Community Identification”). Because Community Identification is both a right and a privilege, any Creator or Consumer who engages in wrongful, abusive, and/or unjustified Community Identification of content may be sanctioned for such behavior as provided for herein.
In the event that a Creator or Consumer flags or otherwise reports Alleged Contravening Content, such content will be subject to manual review by Rumble representatives (“Rumble Rep”). In the event that the Rumble Rep determines that the Community Identification was ill-founded and does not lead to any further action by Rumble (an “Unsubstantiated Complaint(s)”), the Creator or Consumer shall receive a warning for having submitted an Unsubstantiated Complaint.
Sanction for Unsubstantiated Complaints
A Creator or Consumer who submits three (3) Unsubstantiated Complaints within a four (4) month period shall receive a first warning, which shall result in the suspension of Rumble services to that Creator or Consumer for one (1) week (a “First Strike”). A Creator or Consumer who submits an additional three (3) Unsubstantiated Complaints within a subsequent four (4) month period shall be subject to suspension of two (2) weeks (a “Second Strike”). And a Creator or Consumer who submits an additional three (3) Unsubstantiated Complaints within a subsequent four (4) month period shall be blocked from Rumble for a period of one (1) year.
Copyright Infringement Complaints
In case of alleged copyright infringement, Rumble will immediately de-monetize the allegedly infringing content and provide notice to the Creator. If the Creator removes the allegedly infringing content from Rumble or provides evidence of authorized use within twelve (12) hours of notification, at the sole discretion of Rumble, no strike shall be assessed against the Creator.
Rumble Removal Notice & Sanctions
In the event that a Rumble Rep deems the Community Identification to be legitimate or otherwise substantiated, Rumble shall remove the Contravening Content from the platform without further notice or delay, save and except for a notification via email to the Creator who uploaded the Contravening Content advising them of the removal (a “Rumble Removal Notice”).
A Creator who receives three (3) Rumble Removal Notices within six (6) months of a first Rumble Removal Notice shall have their Rumble account terminated. In the event that a Creator who has received a Rumble Removal Notice does not receive three (3) such notices within six (6) months of the issuance of the first such Rumble Removal Notice, such notices shall automatically extinguish six (6) months after the issuance of the any such Rumble Removal Notice. Other than overtly illegal content or violent content, as determined at the sole discretion of Rumble, all terminations will be for a period of one (1) year, after which the Creator may apply for the restoration for their account.
If a Creator receives a Rumble Removal Notice for content that, in the opinion of the Rumble Rep, is sufficiently egregious or clearly in violation of any applicable law, Rumble may terminate the account immediately, subject to appeal as provided below.
Appeal to the Rumble Community
In the event that a Rumble Rep issues a Rumble Removal Notice to a Creator, and that Creator believes the Rumble Removal Notice was unwarranted, illegitimate and unjustified (an “Illegitimate Removal Notice”), that Creator shall have the right, within a period of fifteen (15) days of the issuance of the Rumble Removal Notice, to appeal the issuance of the Rumble Removal Notice to the “Rumble Quality Control Community Members” (“RQCCM”).
Composition of the RQCCM
The RQCCM shall consist of Rumble Creators with a proven track record of consistent and active content creation, who are in good standing within the Rumble community, and have a sufficient following on the platform, as determined by Rumble. The criteria for RQCCM shall be disclosed to the Rumble community and may be updated or modified from time to time.
The RQCCM panel shall consist of no less than nine (9) Creators and shall always consist of an uneven number of Creators so as to avoid a potential tie on an RQCCM review. The RQCCM shall, within seventy-two hours, by simple majority, have the final determination in affirming or reversing the initial decision of the Rumble Rep on the Rumble Removal Notice. The results of the RQCCM review, and any explanatory notes as the case may be, shall be made available to the Creator and the Rumble community for full transparency.
The identities of the specific RQCCM on any given decision shall not be publicly disclosed. However, a list of the Creators who are RQCCM shall be made public and updated from time to time, as required. RQCCM may receive remuneration of preferential CPM premiums for their participation in the RQCCM service they render for the Rumble Community in the context of this Rumble appeal process. In the event that the RQCCM reverse a Rumble Removal Notice that had been issued by a Rumble Rep, all the rules provided for herein as relates to Unsubstantiated Complaints shall apply mutatis mutandis. For the avoidance of doubt, and notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, this removal and appeals process is in addition to, and does not replace, any applicable notification or counter-notification actions or obligations contained in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Rumble’s DMCA procedures are outlined at rumble.com.