Sen. Rand Paul on Monday joined what is turning out to be a flood of millions leaving YouTube over censorship issues. The Kenucky Senator acknowledged his moving to the start-up streaming platform of Rumble is part of a growing movement breaking away from Big Tech.
“Many in Congress, on the Left and the Right, want to break up or regulate Big Tech, but few of these loud voices have actually stepped up and quit using Big Tech,” Paul wrote in an op-ed.
“So today, I announce that I will begin an exodus from Big Tech. I will no longer post videos on YouTube unless it is to criticize them or announce that viewers can see my content on rumble.com,” he added.
Paul said he is starting with YouTube “because they’re the worst censors.”
Google, YouTube’s parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Paul is not alone as churches, small businesses, ministries and private users leave the tech giant over censorship issues.
“This is MASSIVE,” Chris Pavlovski, Rumble’s CEO, said in a statement. “Senator Rand Paul drops YouTube for Rumble. Who’s next?”
Paul has seen his YouTube account suspended several times over what the company has described as COVID-19 misinformation.
Paul said that in one case, a video that said cloth masks do not stop the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading cited studies from Denmark and Vietnam and an analysis from Florida, but it was still deleted.
“I always cite studies and scientific sources such as those listed here, but instead of allowing free and open debate with others who might argue flaws in those studies or cite opposing ones, YouTube simply silences me,” he said.
He also referenced how a video that showed him probing the origins of the first impeachment inquiry against former President Donald Trump was taken down by YouTube.
“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. So, today I take my first step toward denying my content to Big Tech. Hopefully, other liberty lovers will follow. It won’t be all or nothing or all at once. I admit that Big Tech in many ways helps me to spread my message. I may still post a video to YouTube (but only to decry their censorship and advertise that I’ve taken my content elsewhere),” Paul wrote, adding that he plans “to eventually quit Big Tech altogether” and has created a new news aggregation website aimed at promoting small government and personal liberty.