Fates of Gab, Parler Show Right Can’t Rely on Leftist Platforms

January 14th, 2021 2:51 PM

The censorship frenzy that began with the suspension of President Donald Trump put the conservative movement on notice: Conform and comply or be destroyed.

The conservative solution to Big Tech censorship isn’t as simple as “just build your own platform.” Despite years of the right being told just that. Multiple Big Tech companies worked together to deplatform free speech app Parler, a move which the platform’s CEO suggested may prove fatal. Meanwhile, Gab, which is a more controversial free speech platform, has tried a different route. It built its own infrastructure so it would not be beholden to hostile tech companies. 

Gab CEO Andrew Torba proclaimed in an exclusive Revolver interview:

“Now Gab has become the single most resilient and battle-hardened social media company in the world. We own our own servers. We can’t be banned from those servers. There is literally no other community in the world that can do what we are doing right this moment. Gab is the fastest growing website in internet history. The Rubicon has been crossed, the die cast, and the Big Tech Exodus has begun.”

Parler CEO John Matze condemned Silicon Valley tech companies for blocking the Parler app from smartphones and preventing the site from even being hosted online. “They’ve made an attempt to not only kill the app but to actually destroy the entire company. And it’s not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,” he said.

“It’s hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them,” Matze told Reuters in an interview published Jan 13. Matze had also listed multiple other companies which have cut ties with Parler altogether from Mastercard to Slack. Matze added after the story was initially published: “I am an optimist. It may take days, it may take weeks but Parler will return and when we do we will be stronger.”

Gab, by contrast, has shown that innovation is one way to stay afloat as a conservative platform. Daily Telegraph quoted Gab leadership proclaiming that the platform created an entire tech ecosystem to be immune to censorship:

“You can't get banned from Amazon when you own your own servers like we do. It's not just ‘build your own social network.’ It's build your own:

“-hosting service

“-payment processor

“-app store

“-web browser

“-email service 

“-ecommerce platform

“So that's exactly what we did.”

In short, the Achilles Heel of conservatives has been relying on liberal platforms and services to communicate with viewers or even host their own websites. 

The far-left Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which previously lobbied Big Tech companies to censor speech, can't tolerate dissenting voices even creating their own websites. “We need to determine whether the social media site Gab played a role in facilitating or encouraging the violent siege of the Capitol. We wrote to @TheJusticeDept calling for a criminal investigation into the platform & its founder, ” The ADL announced Jan 13.

Gab responded to the organization by rejecting its claims and value judgments completely. “We have had regular contact with US federal law enforcement for years to ensure our platform is not used for unlawful purposes,” Gab responded. The site then proceeded to demand the ADL “Stop trying to criminalize the expression of opinions that make you uncomfortable or that you don’t like” and boasted:

“The ADL has NO POWER over Gab which is why they hate us. It’s that simple. There is absolutely nothing they can say or do to get us to censor opinions they don’t like.”

Gab is still up. That strategy is working so far.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form and help us hold Big Tech accountable.