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Fallout from the Capital riots has been a boon to social media startups. Parler’s ban from its cloud provider, Amazon Web Services, has forced right-wing users to find new places to congregate.

As a result, social media platform Gab, long a haven for far-right extremists, has skyrocketed in membership, gaining 10,000 users every hour according to the company.

A quick look at Gab finds the app’s content very similar to Parler’s, flooded with anti-Semitic sentiment, misinformation about the election, and QAnon theories.

“Riots were planned in Obama’s basement, carried out by Pelosi and Schumer who demanded little police,” one user posted, spreading the misinformation about who was behind the Capital riots.

“It wouldn’t be outlandish to think it was scripted, rehearsed and carried out by news agencies in an attempt to sell a story,” another wrote. Many Gab users refute that Parler was used to organize the riots, despite much evidence to the contrary. 

Gab, which heralds itself as a beacon for free speech, was launched in 2016 by CEO Andrew Torba. His mission was to create a platform free of censorship.

“What makes the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly qualified to tell us what is ‘news’ and what is ‘trending’ and to define what ‘harassment’ means?” Torba told Buzzfeed in 2017.

Gab operates a lot like Twitter, with users posting “gabs” capped at 300 characters. It quickly become a hotspot for prominent right-wing figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones.

Anti-Semitism can be easily found on the platform. In the comment section of Gab CEO Andrew Torba’s recent posts, users refer to the riots as a “coup d’Jew” or lament how “the Jews want communism.”

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Torba himself actively posts on the platform, denying the riots were preplanned and referring to journalists as “demonic.” 

“We don’t have any form of search that allows people to mass search for public statuses across the site,” Torba posted. “This is to protect our community from demonic journos who wish to ruin people’s lives for a politically incorrect post from five years ago.”   

His followers rallied behind him in the comments. 

“They aren’t journos,” one user wrote. “They are the STASI and the NAZIS.”

Gab says it has been banned by over 25 service providers over the years. For instance, in 2018, the site was dropped by its original domain host, GoDaddy, after the gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue was found to be a frequent poster. 

In 2018, the same year, GoDaddy dropped it, its hosting provider Microsoft threatened to boot Gab off of its cloud computing service over anti-Semitic comments. The Gab user who wrote the posts later deleted them but now the company is believed to be operating its service on its own, not on a cloud provider.

That means that Gab cannot be as easily dropped from the internet as Parler. It also means that as users flock to Gab, the service has slowed to a crawl. It must pay for and install more computers and networking equipment to fix and prevent that, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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