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IPFS News Link • Brazil

Rumble CEO: Leftist Court Censorship Demands Forced Us to Disable Service in Brazil


Pavlovski was among several witnesses, including censored journalists, invited to testify before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday on the erosion of civil rights in Brazil under radical leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the most powerful judge on the Brazilian Supreme Court, Alexandre de Moraes. Only one of the four individuals invited to testify defended the censorship, claiming it was necessary in light of the January 8, 2023, riot in the capital following Lula's return to power.

On Tuesday, Pavlovski said, "Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are the cornerstones of a democratic society," and Brazil's challenges to these rights were "extremely troubling."

He noted that, for years, he has seen governments ask online platforms to ban ideas they disagree with and suppress opinions that "do not fit the norm as dictated by algorithms."

"These things are happening, and I know this personally as the CEO of a platform that receives demands from governments around the world," Pavlovski continued.

The Rumble CEO told Congress that, in 2024, the video streaming platform received requests from the Brazilian government to remove certain creators from its platform. Pavlovski asserted that the content the Brazilian government denounced did not violate Rumble's terms and conditions but "shared opinions that were 'unpopular' in Brazil at the time."

"Rumble made a very tough decision not to comply with the government's request. As with France, we chose to disable access for users in Brazil while we challenged the legality of the Supreme Court's demands," Pavlovski said.

The hearing was chaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who previously hosted a hearing in March that saw more than a dozen Brazilian lawmakers recount stories of persecution under Lula and de Moraes.

In his opening remarks, Smith stated that "since late 2022, Brazilians have been subject to grave human rights violations committed by Brazilian officials on a vast scale."