Lots of stuff you won’t like there

And some you will.

Email received from GAB.  Don’t use it much, but I’m glad they’re there.


Gab Community Members,

Gab.com operates according to one principal rule: if speech is allowed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and our User Guidelines, it is allowed on our site. This is because, per Sir Stephen Sedley in the seminal English free speech case DPP v. Redmond-Bate, “freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”

We are proud to have recently met our fundraising goal of $1.07m raised directly from The People. We have made considerable progress this month making Gab the home of free speech, free association, and the free market online. This includes an update to our mute system that gives more control to individual users to shape their own experience. Unfortunately we still have not been able to get a new payment processor, although we are accepting checks to our PO Box and will be integrating bitcoin as a payment option shortly.

On a daily basis, our company uses the protection afforded by the First Amendment, federal data privacy law, and American global hegemony to provide a utility for users all over the world, wheresoever they might be, to publish their innermost thoughts and engage in open dialogue without fear of recrimination from unfriendly and repressive governments. Put another way, we structure our affairs to afford all our users the full measure of due process rights available in the United States.

As a result, Gab is now the fastest-growing social media platform in the world. We have acquired over 800,000 users and new Gabbers are joining the site at a rate of nearly 100,000 a month from across the planet. Gab has over 10.6 million visits a month and is quickly becoming a home for those who wish to think, speak, and express themselves freely.

One unintended consequence of our moderation policy is that Gab has attracted, shall we say, a colorful user base. Most if not all of the team, from the CEO down to our external contractors and service providers, can find an enormous amount of content on the site which we each find morally or politically objectionable, even personally hateful.

However, we understand that adopting a moderation policy that mirrors the First Amendment will result in users of our site expressing views with which we disagree, including “the thought that we hate.” See Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). We do not, unlike virtually every other social media company in existence, think we have any right to try to change what our users think.

The mainstream media strongly implies that Gab’s provisioning of a forum for this speech runs the risk of encouraging expression “(escalating) from online speech to real-world action.” We dissent. Hateful speech may be found on every platform with millions of users, including Twitter and Facebook; Gab is not alone in this regard.

Furthermore, we actively monitor the site for speech that crosses the line from the merely outrageous into the truly threatening or unlawful. Where criminal activity is brought to our attention, we act swiftly to curtail it and, where possible, cooperate with law enforcement to ensure our users’ safety – real, physical, safety, not wishy-washy millennial “safe space” safety – is secured.

When one creates a space where controversial speech is permitted, controversial speech should be expected. This is only news for anyone who doesn’t understand what “free speech” actually means. And today, Gab stands as the largest social network in the world that willing to take the heat involved in standing by this oldest and most classically liberal principle of liberal democracy.

Much has been made recently of social media companies’ moderation policies seeking to strike balances between civility and liberty. Civility-oriented moderation strategies are referred to as the “European tradition” and liberty-oriented strategies are referred to as the “American tradition.”

We follow the American tradition to the letter. We will continue to do so as long as the company exists.

Yours sincerely,

2 thoughts on “Lots of stuff you won’t like there”

  1. Hmmmm, “due process”? The 5th and later the 14th (Thank you Abe and Ulysses) are where we find those. And I doubt we are entitled Constitutionally to due process from private parties. The odious censorship of monopolistic social media powers is clearly in the domain of the 1st, along with the Sherman Act or its successors.

    Perhaps the term was intended to be strictly generic, but the context would imply otherwise.

    1. Well, my inference was that due process rights as defined by the United States are guidelines for Gab’s policies worldwide – for example, not co-operating with Chinese social credit schemes as is Google. Refusing warrantless search and seizure of Gab user’s’ identities, for example, rather than providing those as a matter of course. The 4th Amendment does speak to appropriate process.

      Whether self-incrimination arises in cases where the subject expects anonymity, I don’t know. But a penumbra is emanating there somewhere.

      The other background for this is that Gab was kicked off the internet by its hosting provider and removed from commerce by its payment processor. I think there is a question of whether this restraint of trade of a legal business (based on an objection to speech by its users) is legal. It’s very similar to banks refusing to deal with firearm related businesses, though the Feds were directly involved there through Operation Choke Point.

      Maybe “due process” is an bit of a stretch, but it doesn’t seem wildly inappropriate.