Monday, October 29, 2018

the dubious gift of Gab

I went to Gab.ai (also Gab.com), where I've been ensconced since leaving Twitter just before—or just after—the 2016 election, and I saw this message:

Gab.com is under attack. We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. We have been smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people and for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh. Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely.

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.

It's indeed true that people have been trying hard to de-platform Gab, which is seen by those on the left as nothing more than a rightie hate site. I've already made known my opinion about much of the venomous, bigoted garbage that appears regularly and prominently on Gab: vitriol that's shamelessly out there under cover of "free speech." I've found Gab to be, as a result, a largely soul-polluting and disappointing experience in terms of ambiance. Pretty much every liberal's worst nightmares and worst caricatures of the right are confirmed daily on Gab, which I find unfortunate for those calmer, more rational righties who actually take the time to make reasoned, civil arguments instead of engaging in lies, religious zealotry, and stupid conspiracy theories. (For another example of the right at its worst, see this video on the embarrassingly awful Conservapedia.)

At the same time, one of the reasons why I strongly advocate free speech is precisely to out the wild-eyed loonies and expose them to the light of day. There's nothing stopping a leftie, for example, from joining Gab and challenging some of these fruit-loops to debates. I respect Gab's founders for wanting to provide a free-speech zone that stands in contrast to the repressive nature of Twitter and Facebook, where even moderate conservatives are regularly de-platformed while loony leftie voices, including many that advocate racism and terror (like Louis Farrakhan), continue to spew their own hatred with impunity.

So although I can't really say I enjoy using Gab, I'll stick with it until I decide the miasma of bigotry and nonsense has made the air unbreathable. If Gab ends up getting destroyed by the repressive, ignorant forces arrayed against it, that'll be too bad, but I can't honestly say I'll lose any sleep over the matter. It's hard to develop a sentimental attachment to a playground that so many people insist on shitting in.



1 comment:

John John McCrarey said...

Yeah, I wondered where you'd come down on this issue. Although I'm not on Gab (or Twitter) I share you view and concerns. Let the haters self-identify and then call them out on it. Making them shut up will not make them go away.