I have (had, maybe still have, we shall see) an account on Gab. It got as far as being Gab.com before it was deleted. It was a lot like Twitter but a bit more mad.
Was there rabid antisemitism on there? Oh hell yes, but it had a mute button to turn those nutters off. Just as I can turn off antisemites on Twitter, where they seem to do just fine with management blessing. Was it possible to get banned from Gab? Yes, if you started inciting violence or criminal acts or anything that was against the law.
Gab’s premise was ‘free speech’ with the proviso that free speech has consequences. If you break the law on Gab, they will pass your details to the relevant authorities and shut down your account. But only if you break the law. There are other ways to get banned, but that’s the big one.
You might or might not like Gab. There are many online social group things I don’t use. I have a Farcebook account but don’t do much with it other than put up these posts. Snapchat does not interest me at all, but it seems popular with a lot of people. I am not interested in banning things I don’t like. Other people like them, I am not forced to use them, so they slide off my radar.
There are exceptions of course. Terrorist and paedo sites for example. Still, if they are banned, they will just go underground and be harder for the police to monitor. Is there really an Underweb, a ‘dark web’ where the real freaks hang out? Is that possible?
I once worked in a place with a computer network run by a whole host of IT staff. One staff member was not part of the IT group and did not like their limiting of internet access. So he set up what we called the Rebel Network.
It ran the same routes as the official network. It ran on the same computers if you knew how to log in to it. It bypassed every control the IT department put in place. The IT department had not found it by the time I moved to another job. I never heard whether they ever did.
It’s there, on your wires, in your WiFi and if you don’t know the login protocols you will never find it. No special equipment, no separate wiring, it runs the same routes and it’s a lot more sophisticated than that old one-company rebel network – and there’s a kicker. There’s more than one Underweb.
Gab has not gone to the Underweb. It is staying open, when it resurfaces (and it will) because Gab is not doing anything illegal. Nor does it condone, far less encourage, illegal activities.
I quite like Twitter but it is becoming clear that, increasingly, you have to be careful what you say on there. Very careful. If you fit the narrative, fine. You can be as abusive as you like against the right targets but say one word against the wrong targets and you’re gone. You have to think about every post before sending. It feels like the pubs just after the smoking ban. You can still go there but they don’t feel comfortable or welcoming any more. Gab is a pub that still allows smoking.
When the Pittsburgh loony shot up a mosque, it transpired he had an account on Gab. He also had Farcebook and Twitter accounts and possibly other social media accounts too. Those were ignored.
Paypal immediately cut ties with Gab and their hosting provider has now ditched them. Within days of the event. What did Gab do when the loony went postal?
You can read their statement for yourself. They immediately passed all the information they had on the shooter to law enforcement. They were not pressured into it, they were not subject to any kind of legal challenge, they passed the info at once.
The shooter hated Trump but that does not mean he was a Democrat. His politics are unknown, other than that he was a rabid antisemite.
[Correction: the van was linked to the man accused of delivering fake bombs to politicians and newsrooms, not the synagogue shooter. I have conflated two unrelated incidents]
The van picked up covered in Trump stickers was an embarrassingly obvious made-up thing. It was not plastered in stickers. The windows were covered in large printed sheets of lots of images from stickers. The edges of those sheets were perfectly straight, beyond the capabilities of the most OCD person out there.
[Correction: the van owner was claimed to be a Trump supporter. However, my comments on the appearance of the van still stand. Some of the stickers were actually illegally placed]
Also, he had repeatedly stated he hated Trump (he believed Trump was a Jew-controlled puppet) so the sticker-laden van simply does not work.
There have been ISIS cells on Twitter. There are still openly antisemitic accounts on there. Farcebook has been used to livestream murders and suicides as they happen. Every recent mass shooter or killer or general thug has had a social media account, often many. Nobody blames the messenger in those instances. Yet for Gab’s first loony member we have this –
Have you ever seen Twitter or Farcebook threatened like this when one of their members goes on a killing spree?
What is so special about Gab? It’s not controlled by the narrative. It is not ‘alt-right’, it’s crawling with the worst of the Left too but there is a difference. The Left do not have control of the site. They cannot just get their opponents banned or silenced by whining to the boss. They are on their own in there, they have to make their arguments clear and they have never really tried to do that. Gab makes it clear that they don’t know how. All they have is programmed rhetoric and shouting down the opposition. That’s why the NPC meme hit them so hard. It’s because it is very, very close to reality.
Like Cybermen, those they can’t assimilate must be deleted.
Maybe you despise Gab. Well, it’s simple. Don’t go there. If the left believe it is full of alt-righters (a name they coined without realising that the corollary is ctrl-left) then either flood it with free speech lefties and debunk the arguments they find, or simply ignore it. They are incapable of doing either of those things. All they can do is shout, in a Cyberman monotone, ‘Delete!’ And in doing so they have given the site enormous publicity for free.
The Ctrl-Left tag is becoming more and more apt, and they are doing this to themselves.
There is major chaos coming and I have prepared for this well in advance.
I have a massive stock of popcorn.