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Social network favored by white supremacists gets a user boost from Fox News
Gab’s founder now thinks the site will be overrun with liberal trolls.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson wants you to jump on the hot new social network Gab, a site favored by white supremacists. Meanwhile, Gab’s founder wants all you liberal trolls who just learned about the site to know that he’s onto you.
During his popular prime time show on Tuesday night, Carlson lamented Silicon Valley giants ostracizing Gab for allowing rampant hate speech from its users and urged his audience to join the social network.
Gab promotes itself as an “ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online.” In practice, this means minimal moderation of user content, which has drawn in a user base that often touts far-right talking points, including white nationalist, white supremacist, and other “alt-right” views.
For example, one of the most popular Gab posts on Wednesday morning came from Andrew Anglin, founder of notorious neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer, who called on fellow users to help him create a system to “track” Jews.
Breaking news: Google has removed Gab's Android app from the Google Play Store for "hate speech." pic.twitter.com/jPqeEx1ID1
— Gab (@getongab) August 17, 2017
The tech giants’ rejection of Gab furthers the narrative that Silicon Valley companies are hostile to conservative views (or, in this case, hate speech), bolstered by Google recently firing an employee for which prompted Carlson’s segment with Gab founder Andrew Torba.
Torba, a proud supporter of President Donald Trump, has a contentious history with Silicon Valley’s elite that goes beyond app store policies. Late last year, powerful startup accelerator Y Combinator kicked Torba out of its alumni network for harassing other alumni.
As BuzzFeed News reports, Torba took a screenshot of a Latino startup founder’s Facebook post lamenting Trump’s election win. “Tomorrow, being a Hispanic, Black, Muslim or woman in the USA is going to be very scary,” Aniza Mirza, co-founder of Giveffect, wrote. In his screenshot, Torba wrote, “Build the wall.”
After other members of the Y Combinator community chastised Torba’s comment, he responded by telling everyone to “fuck off” and praised himself for helping “meme a president into office”:
All of you: fuck off. Take your morally superior, elitist, virtue signaling bullshit and shove it.
I call it like I see it, and I helped meme a President into office, cucks.
Carlson’s segment appears to have helped draw more users to Gab, which recently crowdfunded $1 million to spite the “Silicon Valley elitist trash.”
1 million dollars raised by THE PEOPLE to make speech free again and say FUCK YOU Silicon Valley elitist trash. Thank you all!!!!!!!!
— Gab (@getongab) August 17, 2017
A number of new Gab users say they were drawn to the site after hearing about it from Carlson.
Torba, however, predicts an influx of an entirely different type of new user: liberal trolls. In a Periscope video, Torba calls out anyone who might post illegal content, such as ISIS videos or child pornography, in an attempt to paint Gab in a more negative light.
Soros-backed Media Matters and Alt Left groups furious over Gab on Fox https://t.co/4D56tNDKKZ
— Gab (@getongab) September 6, 2017
In other words: Don’t even think about trying to ruin this safe space for bigots.
Andrew Couts is the former editor of Layer 8, a section dedicated to the intersection of the Internet and the state—and the gaps in between. Prior to the Daily Dot, Couts served as features editor and features writer for Digital Trends, associate editor of TheWeek.com, and associate editor at Maxim magazine. When he’s not working, Couts can be found hiking with his German shepherds or blasting around on motorcycles.