Technology news outlet Wired has attacked the free speech-orientated social network startup, Gab, in a new article, criticizing the platform’s stance against censorship and branding it as the “alt-right’s very own Twitter” despite its openness to all users of various political beliefs.
“The internet has a speech regulation problem. To a lot of people (including WIRED), harassment and hate speech are corruptions of the democratization promised by the Web, and websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram take constant flack for not dealing with the problem adequately enough,” claimed Wired reporter Emma Grey Ellis, attacking Gab’s free-speech friendly policy.
“To the group calling itself the alt-right, which is really another word for white supremacists, any moderation looks like censorship,” she claimed. “Their anger at being supposedly sidelined and silenced has spawned hashtag campaigns, think pieces, and now, a brand-new social media platform, Gab.”
Despite Gab being explicitly advertised by CEO Andrew Torba as a free speech haven for people of all beliefs, backgrounds, and allegiances, Wired branded the social network as “an artifact from a dystopian universe where the alt-right completely took over Twitter,” ignoring the fact that numerous left-wing users have joined the site since its conception in August, including Project X star and self-proclaimed socialist, Jonathan Daniel Brown.
“The only posting guidelines are no illegal porn, no threats of violence, no terrorism, and no doxing. Oh, and a fifth commandment that literally says ‘try to be nice.’ Everything else is fair game,” Ellis continued, blasting the platform’s lack of “hate speech” regulations. “Notably absent? Any explicit stipulations against hate speech.”
Gab CEO Andrew Torba condemned the article, describing it as “dishonest.” Gab published their own post addressing the claims made by Wired.
“We were featured in Wired Germany,” wrote the official Gab account. “A few reminders: 1. ALL are welcome. 2. Gab is free. 3. Gab does not have ads, and is focused on creating new people first business models.”
“Instead of ‘big brother social’ knowing best, Gab places the onus on the user to create their own experience and filter out people, words or topics they do not want to see” said Torba to Breitbart Tech on Tuesday. “We will continue to put people first and promote free speech and expression online for all.”