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Gab (social network)

Gab (social network)

Gab is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based social networking service formerly based in Austin, Texas. It was created as an alternative to Twitter and promotes itself as supporting free speech. It allows its users to read and write messages of up to 3,000 characters, called "gabs". The site also offers multimedia functionality.

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Timeline

April 2019

In April 2019, Gab tweeted that StartEngine had banned it from its crowdfunding platform in March and refused to return $150,000 in fees Gab had paid. In response, Gab announced its intention to sue StartEngine.

March 2019

Gab removed SAP's credit card payment functionalities in March 2019, only accepting payment via cryptocurrency or check. The same month the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published an investigation that found that SAP's founder had been convicted of financial crimes in 2007. Gab has not said why it removed the payment processor.

February 14, 2019

On February 14, 2019, a software engineer for Sibyl Systems told the SPLC that, contrary to Gab's claim in SEC filings that it has more than 835,000 users, "Based on what they are getting through us services-wise there is no way they have 800,000 users, or it would be very odd if they did. I would say they probably have a few thousand or a few tens of thousands." Sibyl Systems responded to the statement in a tweet, calling it 'categorically false' and saying the "employee claimed to leak information that she could not have had access to, due to Sibyl's robust security features designed to protect customer data. We have dismissed the employee."

January 30, 2019

Shortly after the SPLC published its January report on Gab's misleading statements and financial struggles, the site made its Twitter account private until January 30, 2019, and switched to an invitation-only mode for new user registrations on January 30. Gab stated that switching to an invitation-only mode was an experiment to improve user experience. Gab previously had intermittent service outages for a week. Gab claimed that the outages were caused by bot attacks and suggested the outages were possibly caused by state actors or a paid team, referring to the latter as 'activist bloggers'. Torba shared a post from another user that suggested that the 'deep state' was responsible.

January 24, 2019

The SPLC reported on January 24, 2019, that Gab has misrepresented its services and bloated its user count in its filings and promotional materials. The GabTV service advertised on its StartEngine crowdfunding page as of January 2019 was only active very briefly in early 2018, and also as of January 2019, the dedicated page for the service is blank. Unlike other social media companies, Gab did not publish the count of its active users in 2018, and only reported registered accounts. Social media intelligence company Storyful found 19,526 unique usernames had posted content during a seven-day period between January 9 and January 16, 2019, far lower than Gab's claimed 850,000 registered users. Users of the site commonly mocked Torba for the site's emptiness, with some accused him of inflating user numbers. In a December 2018 filing, the company reported that 5,000 users were paying for its subscription services.

January 22, 2019

On January 22, 2019, Gab announced that it had partnered with Second Amendment Processing (SAP), a Michigan-based payment processor.

January 2019

As of January 2019, Gab pays Sibyl Systems Ltd. $1,175 a month for web hosting.

January 2019

The company turned to cryptocurrency payment processing services after being rejected from PayPal and Stripe in the aftermath of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. In January 2019, Coinbase and Square, Inc.'s Cash App closed the accounts held by Gab and Andrew Torba.

December 2018

In December 2018, Gab sponsored Turning Point USA's "Student Action Summit" in Palm Beach, Florida. Days before the event, Turning Point USA removed Gab from the list of sponsors without explanation. Gab posted a press statement in protest.

November 2018

Little was suspended indefinitely from Gab in late-November 2018 for encouraging harassment of private individuals; Gab stressed that although Little's account had posted hate speech, it was not the cause of the ban.

October 7, 2018

During the 2018 Brazilian Presidential election many right-wing Brazilian political pages were banned from Facebook for breaching the site's 'hate speech' rules. In response, many administrators of these pages began promoting Gab as an alternative platform; subsequently, Brazilians became the second-largest demographic of Gab users. Jair Bolsonaro's party, the Social Liberal Party, has an official Gab account.

October 2018

In early-October 2018, Gab's Stripe account was suspended due to adult content on Gab. In late-October 2018, a Gab spokesperson told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Gab was no longer based in Philadelphia.

September 12, 2018

On September 12, 2018, Gab purchased the Gab.com domain name from Sedo for $220,000 at Flippa.

September 10, 2018

According to Gab's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, around 635,000 users were registered on Gab by September 10, 2018.

August 9, 2018

On August 9, 2018, Torba announced that Microsoft Azure, Gab's host, had threatened to suspend the site for "weeks/months" if they failed to remove two antisemitic posts made by Patrick Little, a U.S. senate candidate who had been ejected from the Republican Party for his antisemitism. According to The Verge, the posts "express intense anti-Semitism and meet any reasonable definition of hate speech." According to Gab's Twitter account, Little deleted the posts, but this was contradicted by Torba who said Gab itself had deleted the posts which "unquestionably" did break "our user guidelines". Little said the complaint was a violation of an American's rights. On the same day, Alex Jones interviewed Torba on The Alex Jones Show during his coverage of his own permanent ban from YouTube.

August 1, 2018

In August 2018, over 5,000 of Kenyans joined Gab due to the Twitter suspension of blogger Cyprian Nyakundi.

February 2018

In February 2018, Gab reported that it had 400,000 users.

September 14, 2017

On September 14, 2017, Gab filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for removing the app but dropped the suit on October 22, 2017, saying that they would instead push Congress to take action against "monopolized tech giants".

September 2017

In September 2017, Gab moved its headquarters to Pennslyvania.

September 2017

In September 2017, Gab faced pressure from its domain registrar AsiaRegistry to take down a post by The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin, giving Gab 48 hours to do so. Gab later removed the post. Danny O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation commented that this pressure was part of an increase in politically motivated domain name seizures.

August 17, 2017

On August 17, 2017, Google removed Gab's app from the Google Play Store for violating its policy against 'hate speech'. Google stated that the app did not "demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people."

August 2017

In August 2017, GabTV, a live-streaming service, was launched for GabPro members. According to Torba, the site was hit with a DDoS attack soon afterward.

March 2017

In mid-March 2017, Gab added Pro accounts and on May 8, 2017, Gab exited private beta testing and opened publicly. Also in May, Gab launched its Android app for the Google Play Store.

December 2016

In December 2016, Apple declined Gab's submission of its app to the iOS App Store, citing pornographic content as the reason. At the same time, Twitter also cut off Gab's access to the Twitter API without specifying a reason. A revised version of the app that blocked pornography by default was also rejected for violating Apple's rules on hate speech.

November 2016

Torba said in November 2016 that the site's user base had expanded significantly following censorship controversies involving major social media companies, including the permanent suspensions from Twitter of several prominent accounts.

September 6, 2016

Gab AI, Inc. was incorporated on September 6, 2016.

August 15, 2016

Gab was launched on August 15, 2016, in private beta, billing itself as a "free speech" alternative to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook. Co-founder and CEO Andrew Torba cited "the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly" as part of the inspiration for Gab, which he created "after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles" and after reading a May 2016 report from Gizmodo that suggested Facebook’s trending topics might be biased against conservative topics.

People

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Benjamin Poch

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David Lange

Attorney



Kapil Khanna

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