Just as we’re all hyped to celebrate Black History Month and all of its black excellence (Yes, Black Panther!) we are reminded how racism continues to rear its ugly head.
Gab, as described by ThinkProgess, is a social media site that houses a safe space for white nationalists. The company recently announced that over 1,000 investors funded a whopping $5million for their hate-filled pursuits.
Gab, as described by Think Progress, has become the safe haven for the far right who have been banned from places such as Facebook and Twitter. The site first gained popularity following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. While Gab’s growth and influence caused the tech titans in Silicon Valley to become more aware of the widespread vitriol online, it also created a surge in donations to the site, up to $500,000 in 5 days. Gab claims to have over 400,000 accounts.
Plans for a redesigned web site will pedal their ‘red-pilled’ content creators to new audiences. “Red pill” is a term coined from the movie The Matrix that’s been appropriated but the far right. It refers to the scene where Morpheus asks Neo if he will take the red pill (“which is reality and the struggle against the false world”) or take the blue pill (“which will continue a literal and metaphorical slumber”)—essentially, it’s about ignoring the cries of the rest of the world and only focusing on what matters to them. VentureBeat reported that ad campaigns for Gab will run on sites such as Steve Bannon‘s alt-right rag Breitbart and DrudgeReport.
Gab’s founder, Andrew Torba, also reportedly plans to find space for their new tech hub in San Francisco “just to troll Big Tech.” A passionionate Donald Trump supporter, Torba has also pronounced himself against the #MeToo movement, and publicly aligned himself with popular far-right personalities, including the co-founder of the neo-Nazi white supremacist news site, Daily Stormer.
Gab describes itself as “grounded in the freedom of expression, information and speech.” Their “alternative” approach to social networks is a concern for many given their violent history. Thanks to the donations, this site is now a well-funded “censor-free” meetup space on the internet for racist, violent, white supremacists.