On January 3 2022, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced that he would be quitting YouTube and joining Rumble instead.
He justified his move on the grounds that YouTube was far too censorious.
“About half of the public leans right. If we all took our messaging to outlets of free exchange, we could cripple Big Tech in a heartbeat,” Paul declared in an op-ed he published on January 3.
“So, today I take my first step toward denying my content to Big Tech. Hopefully, other liberty lovers will follow,” the Senator continued.
Paul added, “As a libertarian leaning Senator, I think private companies have the right to ban me if they want to, however, those of us who believe that truth comes from disputation and that the marketplace of ideas is a prerequisite for innovation should shun the close-minded censors and take our ideas elsewhere, which is exactly what I’m doing.”
According to Steve Watson of Summit News, Paul described his “dysfunctional” relationship with Google a “toxic relationship” where all of his content is policed by “fact checkers.”
“Sure, I can get millions of views. But why should I allow anonymous ‘fact-checkers’ to censor my fully sourced, fact-based content?” Paul inquired. He added, “They don’t want to challenge or debate me with opposing views, they just want my silence.”
The Senator described the unholy alliance between the legacy media and Big Tech as a “Medieval church” that censors opinions deviating from the acceptable parameters of discourse.
“An entire generation of young people, who use these platforms exclusively for their news, will never read or hear of opinions or ideas that challenge the Big Government / Big Tech orthodoxy,” the Kentucky Senator declared.
Paul is justified in his move to Rumble. YouTube, like other Big Tech platforms, is committed to censoring right-wing discourse. Alternatives like Rumble are very welcome. However, they may not be enough.
U.S. policymakers will likely need to establish an Internet Bill of Rights, which protects all speech from both corporate and government censorship, and also treat these social media platforms as public utilities due to how they function as the de facto public square when it comes to public discourse.
A combination of a thriving alt-Tech ecosystem and Big Tech reforms are needed to truly secure free speech on social media.