Parler's Dan Bongino Says People Moving to App Are Giving Middle Finger to 'Tech Tyrants at Twitter'

Parler investor Dan Bongino has said a surge in new downloads of the social media app this week is a protest against the "tech tyrants" at Twitter.

The conservative political commentator and radio host—a strategic partner of the right wing-dominated platform—spoke out this week as the app shot to the top of the iOS and Android marketplaces, where it remained Tuesday morning.

"Thousands of people are flocking to Parler by the minute as they give the [middle finger emoji] to the tech tyrants at Twitter. It's beautiful to watch!" Bongino tweeted.

The surge in downloads came after Democrat Joe Biden defeated president Donald Trump in last week's election, and waves of popular Republican and conservative personalities urged their followers to abandon the mainstream platforms, some claiming censorship.

Ahead of his loss to Biden, Trump complained last week that Twitter was "out of control" after it flagged dozens of his posts for containing misinformation.

The president made a series of unfounded claims that Democrats were trying to "steal the election" and that the mail-in ballot process was fraudulent. His campaign has launched legal actions in an attempt to challenge the result.

On November 8, Parler had approximately 636,000 installs from the U.S. App Store and Google Play, which was the most it had ever recorded in a single day, according to the analytics platform SensorTower, which tracks rankings of mobile apps.

SensorTower said the amount of downloads was more than five times the previous best ever day, which came on June 26 when Parler logged just under 200,000 installs. At the time, the app was making headlines due to prominent new users such as Senator Ted Cruz.

Between November 3 to November 8, data suggested Parler had reached over 980,000 installs from the marketplaces. To date, the app has been installed 3.6 million times in the U.S.

As Parler's download popularity spiked, Bongino, whose Facebook account often ranks among the top-performing link posts on that social networking platform, said earlier this week "the media and the anti-Trump lunatics have awakened a sleeping giant."

Bongino said: "It's happening. The social media revolution is going down, right now, before your eyes."

For now, the Parler app appears more popular in terms of new installs since November 3 than a slew of popular social networking apps inside the U.S., including TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Statistics about the exact scope of the user base have not been confirmed by Parler's founders, but CEO John Matze said in a Parler post on Monday the number of people per day on Parler had increased by four times between Sunday and Monday.

In recent days, high-profile figures including Fox Business News host Maria Bartiromo and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appealed to their followers to sign up to the platform, which claims to be focused on protecting free speech.

Some accounts have already amassed audiences of millions, including Senator Cruz (3 million), Fox host Sean Hannity (2.5 million) Congressman Devin Nunes (1.6 million), Eric Trump (1.4 million) and commentator Dinesh D'Souza (1.4 million).

It remains unclear how many of the profiles are associated with real people. Even the mainstream platforms are often plagued by armies of fake or bot accounts.

Due to its pledge to protect free speech, Parler is also home to personalities exiled from Twitter or Facebook for violating their policies, including the far-right activists Katie Hopkins, Tommy Robinson, and Laura Loomer.

Critics argue that Parler is little more than a right wing echo chamber.

Disclaimer: Newt Gingrich is a Newsweek opinion columnist.

Parler
This illustration picture shows the Parler logo displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background, in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. App downloads surged this week after President Donald Trump's election defeat. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty