Gab founder Andrew Torba said Thursday morning on his site that Microsoft Azure was threatening to shut Gab.ai down. Torba said Microsoft gave Gab 48 hours to remove two posts or be shuttered. Gab, the alternative so-called “free speech” social media site that includes far-right extremism and violent white nationalistic rhetoric and propaganda, which the First Amendment protects Torba and Gab users argue. Indeed, previous reports on Gab and its denizens led to a torrent of complaints to this reporter to make sure to frame the site as a place where people can speak freely. And indeed they do. It’s what some say that many see as hate speech and often, incitement. That notwithstanding, Gab chose Microsoft as its host and Microsoft agreed. Now it’s saying take these two posts down or else. Curiously, there are, from a cursory review of the site, some even more contemptible posts, but it’s these two that Torba said are at issue.
Meanwhile, as Gab.ai was fighting Microsoft, YouTube removed Alex Jones’ interview video with Torba.
Gab claims its purpose is to “preserve individual liberty, the freedom of speech, and the free flow of information on the internet. A free and open internet is essential to the future of a free world. Freedom is creative. It produces. It generates. From freedom flows truth, beauty, wisdom, and growth.” Sounds good but many on Gab, you can explore the site yourself for free, are, have ties to or support white nationalists, anti-Semites, and racists. Numerous groups have labeled the site as a safe haven for the alt-right and a forum for hate speech, which despite Gab and other’s claims, is not constitutionally protected as has been reported on or referenced in numerous articles and coverage of Gab by, Vice, for example or Verge or Heavy here and here.
Note that Microsoft did provide a statement that Gab.ai posts incite violence again despite Torba and others claim that it’s all just free speech.
“We have concluded that this incites violence,” Microsoft said in its statement and so is not protected speech.
Be forewarned that the posts, shared by the neo-Nazi and white nationalist extremist Patrick Little, who says the Holocaust never happened and seeks Jewish genocide, are especially vile and triggering. Even some Gab users admit that, though argue he should be allowed to say what he wants.
Little, who had a failed Congressional bid against Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstien, is from California but is looking to set up in Idaho where he think’s he’ll find more like-minded kin: “This area has a reputation as a home to people with the moral courage to recognize the consequences of diversity.”
There is no room for doubt about Little’s deep-seated antisemitism. Little posted last month on Gab:
“No amount of suffering could repay, eye for an eye, the debt the jew owes the world… given their current population numbers.
… but after putting on a jew thinking hat: Introducing a plan to raise jews as livestock, providing a steady supply of vessels for vengeance for the hundreds of years of jew crops that will have to be raised for ritual …”
And shortly after, Little created a post that all but said he was going to commit a crime; destroy a Holocaust memorial.
“Count down to a live stream of me taking a sledge hammer to a holohoax memorial in twelve months. Will someone take this cross from me?”
“I will see the destruction of at least one US holocaust memorial in the next 12 months, or I will take a sledge hammer to one myself. This is a campaign vow for 2020. Either a holohoax memorial is revised in the next 12 months in the US or I will revise one.”
One Gab user argued that it’s a smarter course of action to leave Little’s comments up for public viewing:
“Yeah, this is definitely a violation of Gab’s TOS, advocating ritual death by torture of Jews, or anybody for that matter, is advocating harm. It’s not mere genocide, it’s advocating raising human livestock for the very purpose of death by torture for vengeance.
It makes me suspicious if @Patrick_little is able to accomplish what he claims Jews are trying to accomplish by deplatforming Gab.
However, I disagree with Microsoft deplatforming Gab. It violates my right to free speech to confront and expose destructive individuals like this. Actually, taking away platforms that allow them to spew their hatred leaves them with only the option to act in the dark.”
But Little relented and said by early afternoon he’d delete the posts but added that “…we will have no rights until the Jews are expelled.”
“I’ll delete the posts, but this is a violation of our rights as Americans. Having to self sensor on @gab for this most likely means the vendors and service providers that gab depends on will force ever more censorship. Me self censoring these two posts solves no problem in the end. I may be in the wrong, deleting these posts, but I am making a snap judgement call. @a , we will have no rights until the jews are expelled.”
This is an example of the free speech Little and Gab believe is protected.
Little has spent the last couple of months on the streets from Portland to Princeton with his anti-Semitic signs: “Jews Rape Kids,” “Jews Killed 30 Million,” and “Holocaust is a Lie.”