Apr 14, 2022 - Business

Sarasota County cuts off conservative media platform Rumble

Illustration of a stack of hundred dollar bills being erased
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sarasota County is no longer ready to Rumble.

What's happening: Rumble, a mostly conservative media platform based in Canada, was awarded an $825,000 incentive grant last year to set up its headquarters in Longboat Key.

  • But the Sarasota County Commission voted Tuesday to stop awarding economic development incentive grants to businesses, meaning the site will not be receiving any taxpayer money for the move, per WUSF.

Why it matters: Rumble is one of the only places running broadcasts from Russian outlet RT without any disclaimers or restrictions.

  • European broadcasts, DirectTV, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook have all either banned RT or labeled it as "Russian state controlled media."

Details: The decision to roll back incentive grants came after community backlash over Rumble's broadcasting of Russian media after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

  • The commission approved Rumble's grant last fall but never finalized a contract.

By the numbers: Rumble reported a record 41 million monthly users in the first quarter of 2022, including 44.3 million in March.

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