Top conservative podcaster Dan Bongino announced Friday on Twitter that he was leaving the platform, moving permanently and exclusively to alternative Parler, in which he is an investor.
“This will be my final post on this anti-American platform. The greatest threats to liberty are the destructive tech tyrants who have acted as publishers in their ongoing wars on conservatives & free speech,” he wrote to his 2.8 million followers. “You can find me on Parler, where we respect free speech. I’m ‘dbongino.’”
In addition to putting money into Parler, Bongino has also invested in video platform Rumble, which he has pushed as an alternative to YouTube.
The Google-owned platform “has taken advantage of conservatives for far too long,” he told Just the News in September. “We give them high-quality conservative content, and they demonetize us and spit in our faces. It’s the most backward business model I’ve seen in a long time. It’s time to stop talking and to start doing something about it. And that’s why I partnered up with Rumble.”
Together, the partnering and acquisitions of Parler and Rumble are part of a larger effort by the former Secret Service agent and current Fox News contributor to support alternative social media platforms, as he and others believe the larger, more established sites including Twitter, Google, and Facebook are censoring conservative voices.
Included in his growing network is the news aggregate site the Bongino Report, which he began as an alternative to The Drudge Report, which has increasingly featured more content from left-leaning news and information sites over the past year.
In November, Bongino and Parler founder John Matze pushed back on a fabricated report that allegedly came from Fox News claiming the platform was really owned by left-wing billionaire George Soros.
“The ownership structure of Parler is myself, and a small group of close friends and employees. Additionally, Parler has 2 strategic investors. Dan Bongino & Jeffrey Wernick,” Matze wrote in a post on the platform.
“Parler has NOT been sold. These are malicious lies intended to damage and malign the brand of Parler. Anyone claiming otherwise is a hoaxer and most likely acting from malice. This is the length enemies of free speech will go to try to take down the ONLY platform that protects your speech, privacy, and data. Parler,” he added.
In a Twitter post at the time, Bongino also confirmed that the Fox News report was a fabrication.
“Folks, this is the kind of stuff we’ve been dealing with all week,” he wrote. “This isn’t real. I OWN PARLER.”
“That’s a fake screenshot,” he added.
Both Parler and Rumble have grown substantially over the past few months as more and more high-profile conservative political figures joined.
Shortly after Matze and Bongino debunked the fake Soros story, the founder joined Tucker Carlson on Fox News to update him on the growth of the platform and to explain its appeal.
“We are seeing a massive explosion in growth because people trust that Parler is going to do the right thing,” he said.
“So, as opposed to these other companies where moderation seems to be the norm, on Parler we have a community jury,” Matze explained. “This is where the people decide what is allowed and what’s not allowed.”
He added that Parler users are “liberated from restrictions” and free to post their views and ideas.
“We just want to sit back and say ‘social media was supposed to be about the people. It was supposed to be about people having a free voice, being able to be, you know, liberated from restrictions,’” Matze told Carlson. “And so that’s what we are here to offer, is a community town square for people to have discussions.”
In recent days, a number of users on Twitter have claimed the platform is limiting the reach of their posts and removing followers.
“Interesting how twitter is quietly taking “likes” off of articles I’ve written critical of a certain governor,” Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, who has frequently railed against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allowing COVID-19-infected patients into nursing homes, posted Friday.
Interesting how twitter is quietly taking “likes” off of articles I’ve written critical of a certain governor.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 8, 2021
“I’ve lost 5k followers the last few months,” Damon Salvadore, a sports editor, and video producer responded.
“Yes. Me as well. I think there’s a massive shutdown going on,” Dean replied.
Yes. Me as well. I think there’s a massive shutdown going on.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 8, 2021
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