Big Tech has come for another big-name conservative.
This time, it’s commentator Dan Bongino. On Wednesday, Google-owned YouTube banned the Fox News personality and radio host from the video platform permanently. According to The Hill, the reason given was that he had tried to evade a previous ban for COVID-19 misinformation — but Bongino has a much different story.
And he has a video to back it up.
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The Hill reported Bongino was banned because he had uploaded a video to his main channel after receiving a suspension for his second channel earlier in the month for violating YouTube’s policy on COVID misinformation. The second channel posts clips from Bongino’s radio show.
The suspension stemmed from a video in which Bongino called masks “useless.”
“When a channel receives a strike, it is against our Terms of Service to post content or use another channel to circumvent the suspension,” a YouTube representative told The Hill.
Not only were both of his accounts deleted, but he cannot open future ones. Any attempt to create YouTube accounts “associated with his name” will also be blocked.
But the move came after Bongino had said earlier in the week that he was leaving the platform — and it’s the video announcing that he was leaving YouTube that got him permanently banned. Think he’s broken up over it?
Bongino also uploaded the video to Rumble, a pro-free speech YouTube alternative popular with conservatives (and one where Bongino is an investor). He’ll be uploading his future shows and clips there.
Check out the video in question here:
“YouTube is only interested in censoring conservatives, and me specifically,” Bongino said.
Then he lowered the boom.
“You will not be finding any more of my videos here on YouTube,” Bongino said. “This will be the last one. So I give YouTube the collective double-barreled middle finger and tell you, ‘Thanks for playing. But we’re not interested in any negotiation with you about the rules of free speech.’
“We will be posting on Rumble, along with many others who have forfeited this communist platform.”
He also made it clear that it was YouTube’s policies that drove the separation.
“I have been posting here for a while in an effort to get the message out there,” Bongino said. “But the hard reality is, the message is freedom and liberty. And if YouTube is on the side of censorship, anti-freedom and anti-liberty, then I will no longer give them my content for free.
“I don’t lose anything. But YouTube does.”
After YouTube announced its action Wednesday, Bongino’s Twitter account was openly disdainful.
“Hilarious watching the @YouTube communists desperately try to save face after we told them to go f%^* themselves,” the “Bongino Report” Twitter account posted.
“They’re claiming we ‘tried to evade suspension.’ Really? By posting a final video LITERALLY titled ‘Why I’m Leaving YouTube’?”
Hilarious watching the @YouTube communists desperately try to save face after we told them to go f%^* themselves.
They’re claiming we “tried to evade suspension.” Really? By posting a final video LITERALLY titled “Why I’m Leaving YouTube”? 🤦🤦
— Bongino Report (@BonginoReport) January 26, 2022
It’s a good chance Bongino won’t miss YouTube from his new Rumble home.
“The Dan Bongino Show” has 2.07 million subscribers on the platform, which is more than the 900,000 his main YouTube channel had.
“Following a 1-week suspension from YouTube for quoting Dr. Fauci saying masks don’t work (one of his countless flip-flops), Dan Bongino uploaded a video to their platform titled ‘Why I’m Leaving YouTube’ where he announced all future content of his would be posted exclusively to Rumble, the pro-free speech competitor to YouTube that Dan is an investor in,” writer Matt Palumbo posted on Bongino’s website.
“In response, YouTube attempted a poorly executed ‘you can’t break up with me if I break up with you first’ approach, and decided to ban Dan from the platform he just left and was never going to post to again,” Palumbo wrote.
In a Twitter post published after the suspension, Bongino tweeted a copy of an email he purportedly sent to an employee at YouTube, lambasting the “tyrannical, free-speech hating, bulls***, big tech s***hole you work for.” Which, you know, could be considered an opening salvo in some quarters.
“So here’s my deal to you, and there will be NO negotiation,” he wrote.
“After your ‘suspension,’ I will immediately post content questioning why masks have been totally ineffective in stopping this pandemic. I dare you to do something about it.”
Nevertheless, YouTube is supposed to act as an impartial arbiter here, not as a censor.
The Hill reported during Bongino’s original suspension that it was his first “strike” — and that three “strikes” constitute a ban.
For that matter, a passing comment on masks being “useless” shouldn’t constitute a strike at all — but then, Big Tech has become an arbiter of what can and can’t be said about COVID-19 online, in part at the urging of the current White House administration.
It won’t stop when COVID becomes endemic, either. There will be some new minefield where conservatives dare not speak what they believe.
Today it’s COVID, election integrity and transgender issues.
The question isn’t whether they’ll be adding more verboten topics in the future. The only question is what they’ll be.
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