Facts about Gab: History, Profile, Founder, Future and Everything to Know
What is Gab.com and History
Known as a haven for neo-Nazis, White supremacists and the alt-right, the social networking service attracts groups that have been banned from other social networks with its “free speech and individual liberty” tag. Over the years, the site has been criticized for using freedom as a cover-up for its alt-right and extremist ecosystem. Moreover, the site's content seems to reek of antisemitism and has been “repeatedly linked to radicalization leading to real-world violent events”, according to Meaww.com.
Launched in May 2017, the site claims it believes that “the future of online publishing is decentralized and open”.
A message in the about section of the website reads: “Gab Social is a fresh take on one of the Internet's most popular applications: social networking. You, the user, have a choice when using Gab Social: you can either have an account on Gab.com or, if you don't like what we're doing on Gab.com or simply want to manage your own experience, you can spin up your own Gab Social server that you control, that allows you to communicate with millions of users on their own federated servers from around the world, including users on Gab.”
“Gab.com strives to be the home of free speech online. We work on Gab Social 100% of the time as our full-time jobs. We positively encourage you to either join us on Gab.com or to spin up your own Gab Social server that you control to help take back control of the Web for the People.”
The layout of Gab displays has trending posts in the center, aggregated news to the right, and a menu and explore section to the left. Its headquarters is located at 700 North State Street, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, US.
Who founded Gab?
Andrew Torba Photo: Meaww.com
Founded by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Torba, Gab has several major players in its cabinet. Ekrem Büyükkaya is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who once called the site “the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly”. In October 2016, Utsav Sanduja joined Gab as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
In private beta, the site first launched on August 15, 2016. A month later, Gab AI, Inc was incorporated on September 6, 2016. Torba explained that the reason he created the site was “the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly” and claimed the conservative articles on Facebook were biased. His Instagram account — with the handle Jesus Is King aka @torbahax — is private and has about 1,200 followers.
Back in November 2016, Torba said the user base expanded after censorship controversies. In an article, he wrote, “We’re building an alternative Internet. Gab is 100% funded by our community of people, not big corporate sponsors. On Gab, you are the customer, not the product being sold. We’d like to send a special thank you to our donors, investors, and GabPRO customers who made today possible. Thank you also to our team of engineers behind the scenes who worked tirelessly for over a year to make this happen.”
In 2017, Gab was removed from Google Play Store for violating its hate speech policy. Not just that, Apple's App Store also rejected it for similar reasons. And just one year later, in 2018, its original domain host, Go, Daddy, dropped it after news reports said that the gunman accused of killing 11 congregants in a Pittsburgh synagogue was a frequent user of the site.
The site was then taken down and at that time, a message was splashed saying “under attack” and being “systematically no-platformed”. On November 4, 2018, it was back after Epik agreed to register the domain. At that time, the CEO of Epik, Rob Monster, defended the site saying Gab's neo-Nazi users were “liberal trolls looking to give enemies of freedom an excuse”.
Often dubbed as “Twitter for racists”, the company turned to cryptocurrency payment processing services after PayPal and Stripe rejected it in the aftermath of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
Some of the tweets posted by Gab.com that are gaining much traction
Gab: Alternative to Parler
According to an article by Newsweek, the official Amazon Web Services or AWS Trust and Safety has now reportedly told Parler's current CEO John Matza that they will stop hosting this particular social media site. In response to this particular removal, Matze then warned its own Parler users that the app will go offline for about a week and even stated that it would actually "rebuild from scratch."
Matze then stated that this was a certain coordinated attack that was done by tech giants in order to kill its competition in the current market place. He then noted that the app was "too successful too fast." In response to Parler closing down, a number of its users have reportedly started joining another social media platform called Gab.
How is Gab’s website coping with new users?
Well, it’s actually struggling with its new-found fame. While you can look at Gab’s feed, the website has been slow and at times inaccessible, particularly if trying to sign up for a new account, said News.com.au.
Gab, which uses its own servers so it can’t be “banned”, said it was constantly playing a game of catch-up.
“We keep adding more servers and at like 5 am we get the site stable, then millions of new people come through the door in the morning and we start all over again. Scaling up as fast as we can! Patience,” the company tweeted.
Gab reports an increase in users in the midst of Twitter’s ban
Gab.com, a popular social networking site among the far right, has reported significant growth over the past few days as tech companies such as Twitter cracked down on accounts and posted instigating violence. Gab tweeted that it accepts over 10,000 new users every hour, Businessinsider reported.
Gab.com reports significant growth following the riots in the Capitol, the removal of well-known conservatives from Twitter, including President Donald Trump, and the suspension of the Parler app on the Google store.
In October 2018, Vox reported that Gab had 465,000 to 800,000 users. In July 2020, Fox Business reported that, as of April, the site had over 1.1 million new cumulative registered accounts and 3.7 million monthly visitors worldwide.
This past Wednesday, the day the Capitol was stormed by pro-Trump rioters, Torba reported that site traffic jumped 40%, according to NPR. On Saturday, the site tweeted that it was gaining over 10,000 users an hour, and had received "12m visits in past 12 hours" just before 11 a.m.
Is Trump on Gab?
It hasn’t been confirmed. He alluded to going elsewhere after his ban from the major social media sites.
In a tweet later removed, Mr. Trump said: “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!”
What’s next for Gab?
Look out Apple, it’s moving into phones. Gab claims to be releasing its own phone and urges people to “stay tuned for pre-order information”.
There’s also a video content platform with Gab TV recently launching, which it said is its YouTube alternative.
Hundreds of engineers who also reached out to work for Gab, it claimed on Twitter, with the company planning to review applications soon.
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