Conservatives seem to have an uphill battle in getting their messages out on social media. Reports of algorithm bias and shadow banning right-leaning commentators, writers, and personalities continue to stream in.
Just recently, Project Veritas conducted a sting operation featuring workers on Twitter seemingly admitting that they work hard to bury conservative voices, especially if they support President Donald Trump.
Conservative writer and podcast host Dan Bongino has been an outspoken critic of social media censorship. In the following interview, he gives his reaction to Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the Senate, his thoughts on how to beat social media bias, and where conservatives should go from here.
Q: Do you think that Zuckerberg held his own during his congressional testimony or do you think that he hurt himself?
DB: He gave pretty formulaic answers. It’s clear that he practiced. No doubt his lawyers coached him. Now, I do think there were some genuine questions, but I don’t think he helped or hurt himself.
I’m a free market, libertarian kind of guy. Facebook is a private company and you’re the product. When you understand that, you go into it with open eyes and open ears and you’re good to go on social media.
Having said that, I think they clearly engage in political and ideological discrimination. It’s atrocious. They’re destroying the market, and I don’t think they have a future when they discriminate against 50% of the country.
I’ve been banned from running ads on Twitter for “inappropriate” content, but they’ve never told me what content was inappropriate. We’ve scoured our Twitter feed and we have no idea what they are talking about. What kind of business is that to turn down thousands of dollars in revenue from “inappropriate” content, but you don’t tell paying customers what they have a problem with? Maybe it’s just that the content is conservative.
Q: Even with the alleged shadow banning and supposedly harmful algorithms, conservative outlets continue to grow. Why is that?
DB: That’s because conservatives are genius and leftists are not. The Left puts all their stock into outlets like Air America and they go under. They already have mainstream media, they already have academia, and they’ve won overwhelming victories in the culture wars. They have all that.
But when it comes to diversifying, and they’ve had some success with podcasting, but when they try to mass market their ideology, they blow it.
The thing about conservatives is we’re used to being discriminated against. What you have to do is what The Daily Wire and CRTV is doing and diversify.
For example, if I get banned from Twitter, it hurts, but I’ve also got my website that gets a lot of traffic. I put my show on multiple platforms like iTunes or Soundcloud, so for every attack I’m quadrupled redundant. It’s the same with sponsors.
We’re fine and that drives leftists mad.
Not to get long-winded here, but young conservatives always ask me how can I be successful with a podcast, blog, or show. Unfortunately, there is no recipe for success. I honestly don’t know how to get there, but you better diversify once you do because the Left will come after you once you’re a success.
Q: Do you think Zuckerberg’s testimony will be a wake-up call for these social media platforms to treat every ideology the same?
DB: No, I don’t think so. I’m in the midst of a week-long temporary boycott of Facebook. I haven’t posted since Sunday. What was the reason? I had on Diamond and Silk who got labeled “unsafe for the community.” I don’t agree with them on everything, but regardless, every conservative and civil libertarian should be concerned.
You have two outspoken black conservative Trump supporters who are deemed “unsafe for the community”? If they were liberal, the story would be on the front-page of every newspaper in America with cries of racism. So I’m boycotting Facebook for a week in solidarity with them. They sell our content, well, they can do without our content for a week.
Back to your question, will it change anything? No, it won’t. These are companies run by progressives who are fully indoctrinated. It’s obvious right now they have zero interest in making it a level playing field.
It’s a win-win for them because they know that small government conservatives will never advocate for government regulation. In the first win, it’s a win because the social media platforms will punish those who don’t copy their ideology, so they can diminish opposing voices. Secondly, it’s a win because they know that conservatives won’t try to punish them with government regulation. It’s a good deal for them.
Q: Do you think conservatives will start to form their own free speech social media platforms?
DB: Unquestionably yes. It’s not going to happen overnight, but remember, Fox News didn’t happen overnight either. The mainstream media had a hegemonic rule over your TV for close to 40 years, but when Fox finally broke through, it crushed them at least on cable. Fox is pretty much number one in every time slot.
These social media networks can keep censoring conservatives, but it’s not going to work. People are smarter and savvier than that.
Daily Wire, Conservative Review, NRATV, along with many bloggers and podcast hosts, are bringing in large audiences.
We bring in two million downloads a month on my show for a fraction of the production cost of these mainstream outlets. They’re spending millions spreading their ideology while we’re doing it with pennies on the dollar.
Q: Do you think that people are drawn to these conservative outlets because they are drawn to the message or are they seeking a diversity of opinion?
DB: It’s difficult to say because I do think conservatives are drawn to like-minded people.
On the other hand, people are always drawn to the truth, right? A lot of people find my show by mistake. I get hundreds of emails a month from people who stumble upon my podcast because they overheard someone else listening to it. Some people aren’t politically active, but they hear conservative hosts and think, “Man, I’ve never thought about an issue that way.”
Q: We’ve seen liberals like Dave Rubin also branch out into this independent media similar to The Daily Wire or CRTV. Will we see more of these independent outlets?
DB: Yes, and I think Rubin is a genius for seeing a hole in the market for being sane, but staying liberal (Laughs). I like him because even though he’s on the opposite side of the aisle, he’s not a jerk or a free speech hater, and that’s why conservatives are more than happy to go on his show.
Are more liberals going to take that approach? I don’t think so. They’re too embedded in their identity politics and the whole essence of identity politics is anger, rage, victimology, and there’s no getting past it when you’re sunk into it.
Q: Final question, where do conservatives go from here knowing that social media outlets are going to continue censoring them?
DB: I’ve got a large platform, but it’s not nearly large enough. I think what’s going to wind up happening is eventually you’re going to get a Democrat leadership-type committee on the Right. They’re going to try to gather donors to help build new platforms.
I’d like to see The Daily Wire or CRTV or whoever, partner and say, “You know what, we don’t all agree on everything when it comes to policy, but we all agree about freedom, liberty, you know the big core issues. We should get together and form something bigger.”
It could be a conservative Twitter or whatever. That would be the only way to get the necessary crowd affect where people would join up. It would have to be huge names involved. I guarantee you, people would pile out of these old platforms.
They are so tired of being stigmatized by these corporate progressive titans.
You can read more about the CRTV and NRATV contributor on his official website and you can purchase his latest book, “Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats” on Amazon.