I never thought I would live to see the day when a fat joke is treated with more seriousness than calls for Jews to be shoved into ovens, than Moonman parody songs calling for the extermination of the Negroid Race, or straight up Holocaust truth studies (there never was a “Final Solution”).
But we’re now at that crazy and fateful day, and I can say with assurance that we need to step our tech game before everybody to the right of Fox News finds themselves “unpersoned” in a manner that could at some point, and I’m putting on my paranoia cap here, lead to quiet and abrupt “disappearing.”
This is the story of Gab’s most difficult and most controversial decision to date. On September 1st I opened my email to see a note from the compliance department of our domain registrar, AsianRegistry.com. Instantly I knew something was up. They asked that we update our contact information on the gab.ai domain within one week or it “may result in the suspension of the domain.” To be fair: the address was outdated. The last time we tried to update it on the AsianRegistry website it failed. We promptly provided the requested information and updated to our new address.
A few days later we heard back, only this time it was from AsianRegistry’s legal team. They noted that they had received a “formal complaint” about content posted on Gab. They cited the individual link in question and told us that we had 48 hours to remove “any images that are in violation of their policies.” We then proceeded to read their guidelines to determine what violation could have occurred with the post they cited. We have followed up with their legal team to get some clarity and specifics about which clause was violated. The only thing that stuck out to us was the following vague and ambiguous clause:
Instra Corporation prohibits unlawful use of a registered domain name or product/service we supply, in a manner that is harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, or hateful against another party. This includes, but is not limited to, hate speech, discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender, religion, sexuality or race. Instra Corporation reserves the right to suspend or delete any product or service that, after reasonable investigation, is deemed to be in breach of this clause.
You’ll also note in their guidelines that they “typically give 15 days,” in our case we were given 48 hours to act.
Yes, when there is something sinister at work on behalf of the Chosen, deadlines, laws, and standard procedures get ignored in favor of one key tenet:
Strong vs. weak.
And in terms of technological and financial power, we are right now the weaklings no matter how much righteousness and truth we have on our side.
And this is a company based out of Australia ordering the shutdown – it’s not just the United States lashing out at freedom, although my guess is that this would have played out almost the same had the domain registrar been based in America.
Again, laws don’t matter to these (((people))) – force does.
Instra generally provides registrants with 15 days notice of a pending domain action due to a violation of our Terms of Service in order to provide them with the opportunity to remedy the alleged violation. If the registrant is not in violation of our Terms of Service at the end of the 15 day notice period, we may cancel any pending action and consider the matter resolved. This notice period may change depending on the circumstances.
Upon looking at their guidelines, we reviewed the post in question to determine if it had broken our own Community Guidelines. Our guidelines are very clear about properly tagging content that is Not Safe For Work.
Gab follows the Stewart Standard Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964) on what constitutes pornography and obscene content.
We believe the post in question was indeed obscene. It should have been marked #NSFW and it was not, therefore it is in violation of our Community Guidelines.
For the record, here is the post that was called into question:
Which was based off of the following post made on Twitter by someone most of you probably recognize:
A bit vicious, I suppose, and not THAT funny when compared to some of the content the Alt-Right has put out over the years, but surely nothing compared to the filth one can find on 4chan or 8chan nowadays – it’s mostly just homosexual pedophiles hanging around since Nationalists were purged.
Twitter and Facebook are much the same way – you have sexual deviants, swingers, and literal cuckolds allowed to post their degeneracy at will without any of these threats levied at the social media platforms/websites.
This is not the first time we have enforced our guidelines. Gab has banned users for spamming, making death threats to the President, posting revenge porn, and doxing among others. We’ve been transparent and incredibly fair about this on many occasions.
We believe this effort was coordinated and planned. We knew this day would come and now we have entered a crossroads with a very binary decision: remove one post or lose our domain and thus the entire website.
Our choice was very clear to me. The post needs to come down. If it does not, we lose our domain. To my knowledge there are no pro-free speech domain registrars and that is a massive problem. Our only other option now would be to play a cat and mouse game by transferring our domain to another registrar. Others who have attempted to play this game have failed and even had their domain seized completely from under them. We will not play these games. We have little choice, for now.
This is the height of folly when the big picture is analyzed.
Andrew Torba should take a look at how the (((Left))) plays this game and understand that today they’ll order a fat joke deleted, tomorrow they’ll order the removal of all Merchant memes, anti-Semitic comments, and racial slurs, and next month will decree that anybody with so much as a minute link to the Alt-Right be purged without question.
When they sense weakness, they move in for the kill like a vulture targeting a starving Ethiopian (this pic will probably be banned on Gab by Thursday if the registrar decides to go for broke and push their shrill cries for censorship further).
You may disagree with Anglin, and you may think that some of his rhetoric is foolish, counterproductive, or just plainly disgusting, but he isn’t even the topic of our discussion at this specific moment.
This is just the target they chose (probably somewhat at random but easy due to notoriety) to use as their initial battering ram against what is/was the last social media platform championing free speech.
If it wasn’t this, it would have been something else probably in another day or two – someone else linked to the Alt-Right for sure.
The free and open internet as we know it is under attack. It is centralized and controlled by no more than a handful of companies who provide these services:
- DDoS protection
- Payment Processing
- Domain Registrars
- Mobile device hardware and software distribution
Without any of these things an individual website can not possibly compete and operate at scale. If left unchecked, these centralized platforms will continue their dominance and control the means of all information, personal data, and communication on the internet.
It’s only going to get worse if we don’t get our most brainy individuals to work on alternatives – this site will eventually fall, and so will all social media outlets linked by even the most minute thread.
And then somewhere (probably in multiple areas to be honest) hands will be rubbed, smiles will form under beaked noses, and beady little eyes will glow with glee.