Who runs Rumble? Trump streams Ohio rally on YouTube's competitor site
Donald Trump appears to have found a new home on social media, after adopting the video platform Rumble over the weekend. The former president streamed his June 26 rally at Ohio on Rumble and might make it his new go-to for MAGA fans following his wide-ranging social media ban.
In the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, Trump found himself stripped of all his beloved social media platforms. In May, Facebook's oversight board called the life ban "inappropriate", and sought a review in six months. His Twitter and YouTube accounts are still suspended, leaving him with few alternatives. He's also been taken off platforms like WeChat and Pinterest, despite not having an account on the platform.
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In response, Republicans have begun targeting social media giants through legislation. In North Dakota, legislators introduced a bill that would allow citizens to sue platforms. It also appears he is exploring other alternatives. Trump has routinely boasted that he is creating his own platform. For now though, he seems to be making do with those that haven't banned him like Rumble.
Who runs Rumble?
Based in Toronto, Canada, Rumble was founded in 2013 by Chris Pavlovski. Since then, it has quickly grown to become the new home for conservatives, fuelled by none other than Pavlovski. "We’re the clean YouTube competitor, the place they can feel safe," he told Buzzfeed in 2020. An entrepreneur and author, Pavlovski has helped turned Rumble into the alternative for YouTube.
Little is known about Pavlovski, who maintains a limited public presence. His LinkedIn profile says he studied at the University of Toronto Mississauga between 2001 and 2005. It's unclear what degree he did. He got his start at Microsoft, working as a network administrator before turning into an entrepreneur. He left Microsoft after six months to create Jolted Media Group. He also founded Cosmic Development, where he still serves on the board.
Alongside his business interests, Pavlovski maintains a strong connection to the small European nation of Macedonia. Cosmic still has offices in the nation, and he also sits on the Macedonia 2025 Bord, a non-profit based in the country. In 2013, he founded Rumble to become a home for viral videos and news content from mainstream sources. However, it soon became the place to go for right-wing pundits and politicians.
Rumble's rise as a new home
In September 2020, the platform had 45 million unique visitors. By October, that number shot up to 60 million. Powering that rise was the adoption of Rumble by some of the biggest conservative names in the US - Dan Bongino, Dinesh D’Souza, Rep. Devin Nunes, and now the former president himself. It's unclear how Rumble began attracting those names, in his defense Pavlovski says it wasn't his intention. "I don't like being a one-sided platform, and I want to keep this really open to everybody," he said.
That rise in September can be partially credited to Bogino. A former Secret Service agent and failed Republican Congressional candidate, Bogino announced he was acquiring a stake in the company. "We need a home. We need somewhere to go where conservative views won't be discriminated against," Bogino told The Washington Examiner. Since then, the conservative commentator has hosted his show exclusively on Rumble, before uploading it to YouTube.
In February 2021, Don Jr. announced he was joining Rumble and it seems his father has now followed suit. Trump's Ohio rally on June 26 was watched by more than 800,000 people according to The Sun. As of June 28, Trump has more than 340,000 subscribers to his account. It appears the former president has found himself a new home, and won't be booted off just yet. The account has been verified, allowing Trump to continue airing his controversial views, for now.
For his part, Pavlovski has been attempting to court more diverse creators to the platform. His Twitter account shows him attempting to rope in NASA and SpaceX, among others. However, he's also been very welcoming of conservatives like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Newsmax, who for now seem more eager to adopt Rumble.