After I wrote the post this morning about Comrade Trump’s War on Algorithms and laughed at ReaganBook (which later become FreedomBook and later became abandoned), someone DM’ed (direct-message’ed, and it is too a verb!) me on Twitter, they told me that Wingnuttia had a conservative-only, he-man woman-hater, Twitter-like service called Gab.
Gab markets itself as a “free-speech” platform, so you know this is going to be good. It’s like a free buffet for racists, Nazis, and white nationalists:
“Microsoft has threatened to cease hosting services for the alt-right social network Gab over two anti-Semitic posts, according to an email published by Gab founder Andrew Torba. The email claims the posts violate Microsoft policy and requests that Gab “promptly take appropriate action to resolve the complaint…within two business days” or hosting service will be suspended. If Gab is forced off Azure, Torba says service “will go down for weeks/months” as the company secures a new provider.”
But wait! There’s more!
The picture of the noose surrounded by swastikas was the last straw. “It’s coming for you, are you excited?” a user on Gab wrote to Utsav Sanduja. …
Sanduja is the chief operating officer of Gab, a social media site beloved by the alt-right, including a vocal contingent of Nazis. The company bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook. But the site’s anything-goes ethos seems to have chafed against its leadership; in recent weeks, members of Gab’s executive team have publicly railed against the site’s users, accusing some of sabotage and “PSYOPS,” with Gab execs threatening to call law enforcement on those users—a cardinal sin among some of the site’s “free speech” die-hards.
Yup. The racists, Nazis, and White Nationalists threatened to kill the people running their free-speech site.
So, to remind us all of what Axios reported that Junior Mints said:
🚨 Don Jr. tells Axios that if a Trump supporter in the tech world created a conservative, Facebook-like social network, he would urge Trump supporters to switch to it.
When I asked him if his father’s 2020 campaign might build such a platform, Don Jr. said: “I’d love to do it. But what I would prefer is, take one of the two Silicon Valley conservatives and let them start it. And then I’d help promote the platform and be all over that.”
Promote away, Junior. Your base is already there.
UPDATE 1: Axios
The big picture: Here are the four main reasons a Facebook for conservatives (or liberals) is not going to happen.
Most people are not primarily political animals, not even now, in the age of Trump. Instagram has become a runaway success precisely because it contains almost zero political content. Almost nobody wants to join an explicitly political social network.
There’s no sport in spreading right-wing memes without triggering the libs. That’s the whole point!
If the right abandoned Twitter and Facebook, it would lose its ability to complain about censorship. It would be much easier, then, for the platforms to say “if you don’t like it here, why don’t you just leave”.
Financially, a new political social network is a non-starter. Many people have tried to create alternatives to Twitter and Facebook (remember Ello? Peach? Mastodon?); none of them have got off the ground, because they can’t reach the necessary scale. That includes Gab, a Twitter for conservatives which has failed to create traction.