The author of letters to social media companies demanding the financial punishment of Russell Brand is a British lawmaker implicated in London’s war on Covid-19 and Ukraine dissenters. Her husband was a commander in the Army’s psy-ops division.
Allegations of sexual impropriety and abuse by comedian and podcaster Russell Brand by the British media prompted YouTube to demonetize the star’s popular channel on September 20.
The Grayzone can now reveal that YouTube’s financial censorship of Brand is the result of an effort waged by a former British government minister who was responsible for London’s crackdown on dissent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her husband has also participated in that campaign of state repression as deputy commander of 77th Brigade, the British Army’s psychological warfare division.
YouTube justified its demonetization of Brand on the grounds that he violated its “creator responsibility policy.” This marks the first time a content creator has been financially punished by the company for reasons other than the videos published on the site. A spokesperson has claimed, “if a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action.”
The allegations against Brand date from betwee 2006 and ’13, and have yet to be proven in court. There is no indication the charges are being investigated by law enforcement in Britain or the US, where the offenses allegedly occurred. Brand has vehemently denied accusations of abuse and rape.
Brand’s videos analyzing political developments and topics such as the Covid-19 pandemic, corporate media propaganda and the Ukraine proxy war have earned him an audience of millions, making him one of the world’s most influential alternative media personalities. For this, he appears to have been marked as a threat to the narratives spun out by Washington and London.
New developments suggest YouTube’s censorship of Brand was driven by direct British government decree. On September 19, the social media companies TikTok and Rumble received a pair of almost identical letters dispatched from Caroline Dinenage, the head of the UK parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Dinenage informed the companies she was “concerned that [Brand] may be able to profit from his content” published on both platforms.
The British government is now asking TikTok if @rustyrockets is able to monetize his content on that platform.
This was never about Russell Brand.
This was a political pretext so governments across the world can coordinate with social media companies to acquire total control… pic.twitter.com/emcy0AE3j7
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) September 20, 2023
She then suggested they impose financial penalties: “We would be grateful if you could confirm whether Mr Brand is able to monetise his […] posts, including his videos relating to the serious accusations against him, and what the platform is doing to ensure that creators are not able to use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims of inappropriate and potentially illegal behaviour.”
The Committee’s letter to Rumble contained a direct demand for demonetization: “we would like to know whether Rumble intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.”
In a withering response to Dinenage’s letter, Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski asserted that while noting his company “obviously deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes, and believes that both alleged victims and the accused are entitled to a full and serious investigation.”
Pavlovski went on to slam YouTube’s demonetization of Brand, declaring that Rumble “stands for very different values,” and “emphatically reject[s] the UK parliament’s demands.”
The CEO continued, “We regard it as deeply inappropriate and dangerous that the UK Parliament would attempt to control who is allowed to speak on our platform or to earn a living from doing so. Singling out an individual and demanding his ban is even more disturbing given the absence of any connection between the allegations and his content on Rumble.”
Rumble’s response to the UK Parliament’s letter to our CEO @chrispavlovski pic.twitter.com/iSCpHIHoU4
— Rumble –