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UK Parliament sends letters to social media platforms demanding demonization of Russell Brand

by Hannah Nightingale

The UK Parliament has sent letters to TikTok and Rumble expressing concerns that comedian Russel Brand could be profiting off the platforms.

“I am writing concerning the serious allegations regarding Russell Brand, in the context as a user of TikTok with more than 2.2 million followers on the platform,” the letter to Theo Bertram, TikTok Director of Government Relations, Europe, began.

The following day after TikTok was sent the letter, Rumble received a similar letter from Dinenage, noting Brand’s 1.4 million followers on the platform, and asking whether Rumble “intends to join YouTube in suspending Mr. Brand’s ability to earn money on the platform.”

“The Culture, Media and Sport [Committee] is raising questions with the broadcasters who previously employed Mr. Brand or production companies who employed him, to examine both the culture of the industry in the past and whether that culture still prevails today,” Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP wrote.

Dinenage noted that while Brand no longer appears on television, he has amassed a following on various social media platforms, “including on TikTok where this weekend he republished his pre-emptive response to the accusations made against him by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.”

“While we recognize that TikTok is not the creator of the content published by Mr. Brand, and his content may be within the Community Guidelines set out by the platform, we are concerned that he may be able to profit from his content on the platform.”

Dinenage requested that TikTok confirm whether Brand is able to monetize his content on the platform, and tell “what the platform is doing to ensure that creators are not able to use the platform to undermine the welfare of victims of inappropriate or potentially illegal behavior.”

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