For those sick of Twitter’s shadow banning and Facebook’s censorship or data gathering, Gab offers an acceptable alternative – and now Google has banned the app from its Play Store. The tech giant says that Gab violates Google’s “Hate Speech” policy because it allows free expression, which invariably includes some people who say things the rest of us don’t like. From the notice:
In order to be on the Play Store, social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people,” the statement read. “This is a long-standing rule and clearly stated in our developer policies. Developers always have the opportunity to appeal a suspension and may have their apps reinstated if they’ve addressed the policy violations and are compliant with our Developer Program Policies
The problem, of course, is that the same type of speech exists on Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media network. The difference is that Twitter claims it won’t allow it and then does nothing; Gab is up front and says free speech means allowing speech we don’t like. Twitter claims it bans so-called hate speech but allows accounts from numerous hate groups, and a simple search for any racial epithet offers a cornucopia of what the left insists is ‘bad, mmkay?’
The double standard seems unfair and even confusing. Why would Google ban an app that’s the same as Twitter, Facebook, and other social media? It’s simple; Gab is doing something else. They’re celebrating free speech in all its forms and allowing users to have a voice and to experience what happens in a free society when everyone can express themselves.
You see, while Gab allows for nearly any form of speech (its guidelines do, however, prohibit child pornography and overt threats) that means it also doesn’t protect its users from the consequences of that speech. Someone may go on to Gab and announce a long string of insults to black women; while Gab allows that, it also allows for the inevitable storm of rejoinders, rude responses, and general hell that the community will unleash on that person for saying it. In other words, the community is largely self-policing. That also makes it a bit more ‘wild,’ but gab has a self-censor feature that allows snowflakes and other easily offended folks to create a safe little bubble in which they never have to see naughty words or the real world. Gab can be what the user makes it; as such, it’s becoming an essential place on the internet – one of the last bastions of truly free expression.
That’s not to say that there aren’t those on Gab who hate Jews, or Italians or Asians. There are also some people on Gab who hate whites. Interestingly enough, the very rule that makes Gab ‘wild’ is often the one that results in respectful, brilliant, informed debate – even among people who disagree. When everyone is on even ground, the majority choose to speak respectfully.
Gab, which offers several features Twitter does not, has also been a major player in the intelligence-gathering activities normally attributed to 4chan. It’s a haven for everyone from conservatives to constitutionalists to alt-right to anarchists and anyone in between. They were responsible for helping to release data on a number of scandals, including Pizzagate. Naturally, the establishment cannot allow something like this to continue. A community of free speech advocates who already understand that the left and right are basically the same, that the surveillance state is real, and the joke is always on the American people? No, that kind of community can’t be allowed.
Apple has also banned Gab, claiming that it doesn’t tolerate pornography apps (some adult content is available on Gab for those who wish to see it). Again, the double standard rears its ugly head; Twitter has all kinds of porn, and nothing is done about it.
The trick seems to be claiming you do not allow something; Twitter and Facebook can go ahead and censor anything, allow anything else and that’s fine as long as their policies say it’s not allowed. Gab, on the other hand, is very clear that if someone says something you simply “can’t even,” then you should block them, ignore them, or figure out a way to work it out like adults.
Adults, allowed to engage each other in a free speech environment? What a novel concept.