After the tragic event that took place on Saturday October 27th, 2018 where a 46 year old man named Robert Bowers shot and killed 11 Jewish people in a Pittsburgh Synagogue, news outlets began reporting that this man also had a Gab account where he made some anti-semitic comments before these events took place. This led many people to start wondering, what is Gab?
After this news broke the website Gab.ai made the statement that they were contacted by financial services Stripe and Paypal and were informed that they would no longer be doing business with the site. This comes after Google and Apple banned their app from their services as well. Not long after this Gab claimed that the site was under cyber attack, and shortly thereafter the site was taken offline completely.
In a statement that can be read on the page Gab.ai currently, Gab CEO Andrew Torba says that their former host provider for their site has also stopped doing business with them, and they are working to find another host. Torba assures users that Gab will continue to fight for free speech and for freedom of expression, and that Gab is down now but is not going anywhere and will be back up as soon as possible.
While many users are frustrated and angry at the outright assault on free speech that they have experienced with one of their most used alternative social media sites being taken down, everyone else is still wondering…..
What is Gab?
Simply put, Gab is an alternative social media site similar to Facebook and Twitter which was created by its CEO Andrew Torba and launched on August 15th, 2016. Torba himself states that the idea behind the site, fundamentally being that of REAL free speech, was inspired when more and more people were experiencing suspensions, censorship, and outright banishment from many if not all of the other mainstream social media services for various reasons, and sought an alternative platform for their voices.
Mr. Torba states that Gab is a “people first, people powered, pro free speech social network”. Mr. Torba also explains that Gab comes at a time when many are having their voices drowned out and censored, most notably those individuals who are of a more conservative or libertarian mindset.
Some of the more notable conservative and libertarian individuals who have been censored and banned outright from certain platforms include the conspiracy talk show host Alex Jones, as well as British public speaker, political commentator, and writer Milo Yiannopoulos. The platforms who have censored or banned these individuals did so because of the claim that they were making ‘offensive comments’ or promulgating ‘fake news’.
Critics of the alternative social media platform are saying that Gab is allowing white supremacists, nazis, and now an outright murderer to have a platform to voice their hate. This is the notable justification presented by all critics who are justifying the censorship of these people as well as the outright take down of the site Gab as we have seen happen here.
Yet just because a person or a group of people are using offensive or even hateful language toward someone else, should this be grounds to outright censor them and strip them of their right to free speech on a particular platform? Furthermore, just because an anti-semitic man who has murdered 11 Jewish people had a Gab profile, does that mean everyone on Gab are also anti-semitic murderers?
Does Free Speech Include Hate Speech?
There is indeed an interesting phenomenon taking shape around us in the days that we are in now, where the term ‘hate speech’ is being used liberally by, well, liberal minded individuals. This idea of hate speech is being used by many to justify the harassment, bullying, cyber attacking, and mass flagging of various sites channels and profiles of individuals who have opposing views as them. And for some reason a huge group of people out there has absolutely no problem with it.
The idea is that ‘hate speech’ is not a part of free speech, even though saying offensive, hurtful, and even hateful things to another person or group of people is a concept that’s been around, well, since the beginning of time. Did the founding fathers of the United States simply not take the idea of hate speech into consideration when they were putting together the constitution?
But what about offensive and hateful people saying offensive and hateful things? Should we allow that? Do you know what traditionally happened to people who are overly offensive or nasty to others? The people that they are being nasty to simply walk away and the hateful person finds themselves with no friends and a bad reputation. That’s how it has always worked.
The truth is, as many already are well aware or are beginning to surmise, that free speech means FREE SPEECH. It does not and never did only stand for those words which are only warm and fuzzy that people generally reserve for their grandmothers. Free speech includes offensive speech, and it includes hate speech as well. You can’t have it both ways, either you have free speech or you don’t.
But it’s Not the Government that is Censoring Free Speech, it’s Private Corporations!
And of course private corporations and businesses have the right to exercise the act of censorship if they so choose, as far as the law is concerned. But you have to ask yourself, why would certain businesses or corporations in the United States, a country that is predicated on, you know, FREEDOM, have any interest in censorship in the first place?
I mean, honestly, don’t you find that to be a little strange folks? And make no mistake, these businesses and corporations that have made these decisions have drawn a very clear and firm line in the sand for the rest of America. And that line is: these corporations DO NOT SUPPORT FREE SPEECH. Period.
Just let that sink in. And if these various corporations do not value the freedom of self expression even if certain expressions would be ideas and opinions that might be contrary to the CEO’s and other higher ups in these companies or whoever is being offended, what else about the concept of freedom do they not value?
Furthermore, and this is something that you don’t really hear talked about too often if ever, how can we the people be ABSOLUTELY SURE that our government does not have some hand in the censorship that is taking place? How do we know that someone didn’t just pick up a phone and make a few calls to some people?
I mean look, regardless of what you want to think or believe, social media sites are being shut down. Whole YouTube channels are being shut down many times with no warning or explanation to the content creator of that channel. Someone is making these decisions. And it’s someone with quite a bit of power.
Isn’t There a Word for When Governments and Corporations Work Hand in Hand?
It’s called fascism. It’s the merger of state and corporate powers. But don’t be fooled, while many have been decrying President Trump and his ‘fascist’ authoritarianism, the fact is fascist elements have been at play in the United States for a long time.
In fact many could argue that the relationship between the Federal Reserve and the United States Government to be the pinnacle of a fascist arrangement. Not to mention the fact that fascism means BIG GOVERNMENT to say the least. And is it just my imagination or have both the right and left been expanding the power role and scope of the federal government for the last number of decades?
Regardless of your position on this issue, something stinks to high heaven here. Luckily the people have had enough. While Gab is currently experiencing technical difficulties and other social media platforms are busy using algorithms and other means of information regulation, there are other sites popping up every day who champion free speech.
One of these sites is the also popular Minds.com. It too is quite similar to Facebook and Twitter with many saying that it is actually easier and more intuitive to use than the other social media sites. If you were on Gab chances are you were on Minds as well, but if you weren’t you might want to head over there to check it out. Although it’s probably only a matter of time before the powers that be come for Minds as well.
Say Yes to Free Speech
So are you ok with what we’ve been seeing happening here over the last couple of months? Whether or not you are a fan of Alex Jones for example, are you ok with some big groups censoring information and banning differing views from being able to share their thoughts and words?
Perhaps all the things we see happening now are tests to see how far the powers that be can go before the general population has had enough and simply says no. If that’s the case and we allow them to keep pushing their draconian measures on us unchecked the day will come when we may not have the means or ability to voice opposition.
And make no mistake this isn’t about ‘hate speech’. It’s about control. It’s about preventing people from having access to certain information. Does this not send chills down your spine?
It can be spun and justified in any which way, but the bottom line is powerful people are censoring information so YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO IT. It’s Orwellian. It’s totalitarian. And it’s coming to a twitter or youtube account near you.
What do you have to say about that?