It's really hard to keep up with how weird every news story is right now. The Huffington Post's Jessica Schulberg sums her new HuffPo report perfectly: “Before Robert Bowers killed 11 people in a synagogue, he offered to help the League of the South's Brad Griffin dox a journalist on Gab.” Read the rest
Social network Gab was the online sanctuary of Robert Bowers, the antisemitic killer of 11 Jewish people in Pittsburgh. Gab lost its payment processors Paypal and Stripe over the weekend. On Tuesday, it loses its webhost, Joyent. Godaddy, its domain name registrar, gave it the boot on Sunday. Gab co-founder Ekrem Büyükkaya, who once wrote that he'd be the first to leave if the site was seen to be right-wing, left Sunday.
The Washington Post reports on the origins of white supremacy's online hangout.
Gab is more than a platform. It’s also positioned itself as a key figure in the right-wing response to online crackdowns of extremist views, and has benefited directly from the white supremacists who flocked to Gab on the promise that their views would not be censored, according to Joan Donovan, the media manipulation and platform accountability research lead at Data and Society, who has followed the site’s growth.
Torba has become a charismatic leader of the “alt-tech” movement which, among other things, dedicates itself to protecting and building tech to house “free speech” — including extremist ideologies that are increasingly unwelcome on mainstream sites. When James Damore was fired from Google in 2017 for writing a viral memo about women in tech, Torba capitalized on the case’s media attention to promote an “alt-tech revolution,” where conservative tech workers would rise up and topple Silicon Valley giants. Gab, of course, would be there to take their place.
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Gab.com is under attack.
In the wake of a piece of shit murdering 11 individuals celebrating Shabbos today in Pittsburgh, PayPal has cut off all payments to accounts associated with Gab: a chatty haven for far-right extremists, bigots and other affiliated filth to spew hateful rhetoric, without fear of punishment. Paypal donations from Gab's user base was one of the social network's primary sources of income. Paypal's move comes a month after the payment gurus at Stripe closed up Gab's accounts.
In an emailed statement to Gizmodo, Paypal's PR team said that "PayPal has canceled the Gab.Ai account. The company is diligent in performing reviews and taking account actions. When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action."
Not long after the Pittsburgh massacre, Gab plopped out a statement on Medium, defending their social network:
Gab.com’s policy on terrorism and violence have always been very clear: we a have zero tolerance for it. Gab unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence. This has always been our policy. We are saddened and disgusted by the news of violence in Pittsburgh and are keeping the families and friends of all victims in our thoughts and prayers.
The post goes on to talk about how important free speech is to Gab and that "...if people can not express themselves through words, they will do so through violence. No one wants that. No one."
I'm pretty sure that this is slime-talk for "Lordy, don't kick us off our servers or otherwise shut us down."
Gab's proclamation of love for free speech doesn't seem to extend to anyone that has anything resembling criticism for their online community. Read the rest
This week, microblogging platform Gab became the latest canary in a coal mine over the limits of free speech on the internet, acquiescing to their registrar's demand regarding a post deemed obscene. Read the rest