Mind Control & Propaganda
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Monday, November 12th, 2018

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The Deplatforming of Gab: A Disturbing and Dangerous Precedent

An image showing the Gab logo superimposed over a screenshot of the now-banned social media platform.

CGA editor's note: When the recent deplatforming of Alex Jones and Infowars began en masse, I predicted that it was only a matter of time before the establishment went after our websites next. Sadly, I was right.

Unlike the establishment media, we at CGA recognize that there are many who use the Gab.com website that are good, decent Americans who have become disenfranchised with the censorship of the major social media platforms. As one who has a verified, pro account on Gab, and has enjoyed interacting with people on the platform, I believe I can speak more authoritatively than most so-called "journalists" on the subject.

Though Gab is used predominantly by conservatives, it also has liberals, communists, and many other people from various backgrounds and opinions. Gab openly welcomes all people and viewpoints, and they always have.

Are there Nazis on Gab? Sure. Are there KKK members? You bet. Jew haters? Absolutely. You are always going to have that in a totally free speech environment.

But Gab also has a lot of the more moderate conservatives and Christians. There are a lot of decent, ordinary people on Gab. No they don't always agree. And there are tools that are provided to mute accounts if you don't want to fellowship with them.

In a free speech environment, you will always have people who are extreme or even hateful in their beliefs. You will always have crazies whose views are "out there". If you start silencing them, then where does it end? Where is the line drawn and by whom? Who gets to decide who is crazy and who isn't? When you get into the business of censorship, it is a slippery slope. Gab gives platform for people to exchange their opinions, even if they are not "approved" viewpoints.

However, Gab does not tolerate the promotion of violence or any illegal activity on their platform. They have made it very clear that as soon as they were notified that the account of the alleged shooter was on their platform, they backed up the data from the account, then deleted the account, and provided the data to law enforcement as evidence. What more can one expect from a social media platform? Gab CEO, Andrew Torba, rightfully points out that Facebook and Twitter have users that have posted extreme views, including racism and the advocating of violence, and they weren't deplatformed for it. Some of these posts continue to go unaddressed by those sites, yet no action is taken to remove them from their hosting companies or domain registrars.

The double standard and villainization that is being applied to Gab, a true free speech platform, should be alarming to every American. The standard is being raised that free speech is dangerous, cannot be allowed, and therefore, must be banned. Unless you have an "approved" viewpoint, your speech cannot be tolerated. This, from those who constantly preach "tolerance". The message from these hypocrites is don't say anything controversial or you will be attacked, run out of business, ruined financially, and perhaps even physically harmed or killed. This is not America! When mobs of people can be hired by rich, communist billionaires to enact an organized effort to bombard hosting companies, registrars, TV and radio show advertisers, and more — all in a coordinated effort to enact censorship, we are witnessing the systematic deconstruction of our country. You are seeing true Democracy in action — mob rule. This is exactly why the United States of America was founded as a republic... as Benjamin Franklin put it, "if you can keep it". You have no freedom, if you cannot speak freely.


—Darren Weeks, October 29, 2018

 

In Wake of Synagogue Shooting, Social Media Purge Continues With Removal of Twitter Alternative

 

The deplatforming of Gab sets a disturbing precedent, as it shows that websites can now be targeted outside of social networks if pressure is applied via the very companies that enable a page’s presence on the internet.

 

Whitney Webb
Mint Press News
October 29, 2018

 

PITTSBURGH — In the wake of the mass shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday, action has been taken to remove an alternative social media network on which the shooter responsible for Saturday’s massacre, Robert Bowers, had posted. The decision comes not long after a coordinated effort by Facebook and Twitter that deleted hundreds of anti-establishment accounts and pages. Gab, a Twitter alternative that has thus far been largely dominated by “alt-right” users and those that have been “banned” or “shadow banned” on Twitter, has now been booted by both its hosting company, Joyent, and the domain registrar GoDaddy, after both companies stated that the posts Bowers had made on the social network violated their terms of service. Bowers allegedly posted just minutes before the shooting on the Gab platform, writing “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Bowers had allegedly blamed the Jewish people for “committing genocide” against white Americans.

Upon learning of the shooter’s account on the platform, Gab deleted the account and backed up the data, which it also provided to the Department of Justice and FBI. In addition, via a statement, Gab disavowed “all acts of terrorism and violence” and said its mission is “to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people” by offering an uncensored social networking platform.

 

Gab later noted that its coordination with the DOJ and FBI regarding the shooter’s account helped provide law enforcement with “concrete evidence” and a “clear motive” for the crime, adding that “more speech is always the answer.”

Nevertheless, despite the extent of the cooperation between Gab and the legal authorities, Gab subsequently posted on Twitter that it was “being forced off the internet for the disgusting actions of one man.” Notably, Robert Bowers also had accounts on other social media platforms including Twitter, but those social networks were not targeted for those accounts or any of the posts created by those accounts.

 

Gab tweet: "Breaking: @joyent, Gab’s new hosting provider, has just pulled our hosting service. They have given us until 9am on Monday to find a solution. Gab will likely be down for weeks because of this. Working on solutions. We will never give up on defending free speech for all people."

Media reports on the shooting have noted that Gab’s minimal restrictions on user-posted content are related to the decisions from Joyent and GoDaddy to deplatform Gab. In a statement sent to Gab by GoDaddy, the domain name registrar stated that it had “discovered numerous instances of content on your site that both promotes and encourages violence against people.”

Gab’s removal from its hosting provider and domain name registrar could result in the site being down for several weeks, according to posts made by Gab on social media. Currently, the site is inaccessible for users, as the main homepage now only displays a message from Gab’s CEO, Andrew Torba.

 

gab-logo

Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy.

Gab isn’t going anywhere.

It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn’t matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people.

You have all just made Gab a nationally recognized brand as the home of free speech online at a time when Silicon Valley is stifling political speech they disagree with to interfere in a US election.

The internet is not reality. TV is not reality. 80% of normal everyday people agree with Gab and support free expression and liberty. The online outrage mob and mainstream media spin machine are the minority opinion. People are waking up, so please keep pointing the finger at a social network instead of pointing the finger at the alleged shooter who holds sole responsibility for his actions.

No-platform us all you want. Ban us all you want. Smear us all you want.

You can’t stop an idea.

As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.

Andrew Torba, CEO Gab.com

 

In addition, PayPal also severed ties with Gab after the shooting, stating that the company was invoking its right to terminate an account “for any reason and at any time” contained within the PayPal user agreement. Notably, PayPal did not state that Gab had violated any terms of service. Instead, it appears that PayPal had unilaterally decided to terminate Gab’s use of the platform.

 

gab-deplatormed2

 

The effort to deplatform Gab followed similar threats from Microsoft levied against Gab in August. At the time, Microsoft was providing hosting services to Gab and threatened to cease those services over two anti-Semitic posts it had identified on the social network. Gab subsequently deleted the offending posts and chose Joyent as its new hosting provider.

Beyond social-media pruning: pulling out alternative content by the roots

While Gab’s current user base and its uncensored approach to content are bound to result in controversial content being hosted on the site, the larger context in which its deplatforming occurred has chilling consequences for the public’s free access to information via the internet.

On October 11, Facebook deleted more than 800 pages from its platform for “inauthentic behavior,” even though it admitted that the targeted pages had produced “legitimate” content. Facebook defined “inauthentic behavior” as using “sensational political content – regardless of its political slant – to build an audience and drive traffic to their websites.” In other words, the pages were removed for publishing and promoting controversial political content.

Soon after, Twitter deleted many of the accounts of pages that had been deleted by Facebook, suggesting coordination between the two largest social networks in silencing alternative voices and perspectives. Following these events, some concerned internet users turned to Gab as an uncensored alternative to Facebook and Twitter.

However, the events that have followed the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting show that alternative platforms like Gab – even if they are committed to uncensored content – can still be silenced through pressure from hosting providers and domain name registrars. The deplatforming of Gab sets a disturbing precedent, as it shows that websites can now be targeted outside of social networks if pressure is applied via the very companies that enable a page’s presence on the internet.

Concern over these precedents will likely only grow, as establishment censors recently announced that efforts to silence voices on the internet have only just begun. Indeed, on October 15, Jamie Fly of the German Marshall Fund, a think tank funded by the U.S. government and NATO, announced, “we are just starting to push back” against alternative media and independent voices, adding that the recent Facebook/Twitter purge of users and pages was “just the beginning.”

With the deplatforming of Gab, the self-appointed censors have now shown that their ability to censor spreads far beyond censorship within the dominant social networks to the very internet presence of the sites themselves.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News, where this article first appeared. Used with permission from the publisher.

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