Taking on Twitter: Gab.ai


A noticeable chill has swept across multiple social media platforms this summer. It started when Milo Yiannopoulos snickered at the Ghostbusters release by posting a classic review in Breitbart. When Leslie Jones was triggered, the two exchanged relatively standard barbs at one another until Leslie’s feelings were hurt. This was not allowed I suppose, during a big Hollywood movie media campaign; especially if the movie is so bad Rick Moranis declined to make a cameo in it. Nonetheless, it was common knowledge that Milo was public Enemy no. 1 for Twitter and they (meaning Jack Dorsey) were just hot under the belt to take Milo out. Well, he seized the opportunity and poof Milo was gone from Twitter. I’m sure there were all kinds of things happening in the background, but I don’t know about any of those things. I was just a passive audience member.

From the right-wing contingency, outcry was immediate. A hash tag #FreeMilo was erected and everyone was bitching hard. The hashtag was trending, and for days everyone was gnashing teeth and cursing Twitter. I say this as a Milo fan, yes; I was also part of this digital riot.

I knew they weren’t going to give Milo his account back. He was too high profile and it would make Twitter look like they didn’t have a coherent banning policy in place. It would look like they were emotion driven on decisions, not content, or data driven. This is bad for a publicly traded company. It’s really bad if the stock price is primarily based on their cool cache and mojo. The problem I had with Twitter was that it seemed that Milo was less a coherent, well thought out decision based on metrics, but rather a shot to all of us that surf the fringes of what is considered acceptable speech to be on warning. I’m not talking about safe speech, but speech that would ruin pleasant party conversation. I saw the Twitter assassination of Milo as something akin to ISIS beheading a Jew or Christian to terrify a village into submission. My village, if you don’t know, is the far-right. I also have ties to the now infamous alt-right. Hate Speech, Love Speech, whatever, it may be protected under our Constitution, but it doesn’t mean shit to private platforms like Twitter. As the weeks went on, one by one I heard other right-wing or alt-right dissidents had their accounts suspended. This is still happening as of this writing. I just heard @sweetatertot2 was suspended and had to start a new account. Only by grapevine via Gab.ai had I heard. Since the left is so obsessed with what boxes you check on the race issue, I will say she is a black woman. Her sin? She is a rabid Trump supporter. Even worse, she has sent out pics of bombed out Detroit, while asking if Democratic rule has been worth it. Unbelievable. What the hell was she thinking?

By the third “big” account ban on the right I knew there had to be a true free speech alternative to Twitter. It was clear that Twitter was less a free speech platform and more an ideological outlet that compared to mainstream media channels like MSNBC.  Some dissent speech would be tolerated, but only in small, controllable doses. I have a Twitter following of just under 600 people, I say some crazy shit. Maybe the only reason I haven’t been banned is either my small scope (likely) or I’m in the back of a long line.

Either way I was hungry for an alternative to the gladiator, short, sharp, hits that Twitter provides. I found a couple of spaces and they were ok, but didn’t satisfy my appetite. Finally I saw a Tweet from Laura Southern about this thing called Gab.ai as a new Twitter alternative. I dig Laura Southern‘s work with Rebel Media on YouTube. So I went to gab.ai and signed up. Boom! I was hit with a message that said I was in a waiting line of over 10k people. Bummer. I replied to Laura explaining the queue. I don’t know if she got my tweet, if she did and decided to help, was it because I’m just that cool (If so thank you Laura.)? It was likely a happy accident. Either way I was let in within a few hours. That was more than a week ago. Since then it’s been an amazing experience.

From my almost constant Gabbing, that’s what they call it at gab, I’m meeting an entirely different group of people that are not always ideologically in line with my right-wing views but still seem to have a layer of toughness that the snowflakes at Twitter are incapable of possessing. Actually, I don’t think I’m that hard-right, but the national dialogue is obsessed with pronouns, bathrooms, and standing for the national anthem at a sporting event, so I suppose I am. You can never accuse America of not being frivolous. Anyway, trying this new platform out I’ve been exposed to all kinds of internet drama.

Did PewDiePie get unverified? I followed this drama in close to real time thanks to Gab. I went to his Twitter account and wasn’t able to get to it. Was he banned? Twitter went batshit. His account was promptly restored and it turns out it was a misunderstanding about a YouTube video he posted (maybe?) about joking that he joined ISIS. It was just a joke that got out of hand. But folks were still pissed because his verified status wasn’t restored. In its place was a globe thing. PewDiePie went on YouTube to explain the fiasco and the globe and what verification means to him.

Next was the drama of the new Terms of Service for YouTube. This was a story in itself, but what I found out in almost real time from Gab was that it was affecting Philip DeFranco’s ability to monetize his work with advertisers. He did a great video explaining how money moves around on YouTube.

Finally, the one I care for the most is the story of David Seaman. He was a Huffington Post contributor that wrote an article on Hillary Clinton’s health and left a link in the article to Paul Joseph Watson’s video on Hillary’s behavior. David claimed that he included PJW’s video because it had over 3.5 million hits, making it news worthy. For this crime his access to HuffPost was revoked and within a few days his articles vanished from Google. It got scary when he had to make an “insurance” video on YouTube claiming he wasn’t suicidal or clumsy. This was referencing the funky death’s that seems to happen around the Clinton’s. You can research this yourself. I want no part this lethal subject and these will be my last utterances about the Hillary’s health. As of this writing David’s twitter account and Google+ account have been deleted. Since then, he shot another video saying he was ok.  I hope he is ok. Never forget Michael Hastings.     

Salvadore Ritchie
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Salvadore Ritchie

Occult Enthusiast, True Crime Aficionado, Movie Philosopher. I keep secrets. I do YouTube Videos.
Salvadore Ritchie
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