Gab is back

Dammit. The racist social media site found a new sugar daddy willing to host their hate. In case you were unfamiliar with what Gab does

Gab has become the most visible of a collection of services catering to people mainstream companies such as Twitter and Facebook have rejected as too hateful, extreme or threatening in their posts as part of a crackdown on extremism.

Which is astonishing. Extremists who are too hateful or threatening for Twitter and Facebook gravitate there. Given that Twitter and Facebook are incredibly accommodating to Nazis and other bigots, that’s hard to imagine…but my brief glance at Gab was to see a horrifying mess of naked anti-semitism on display. It was briefly, too briefly, shut down when hosting providers balked at providing service to a site that allowed that flaming anti-Semite who murdered 11 innocent people because they were Jews to flourish. But no worries, they managed to find a company that was fine with Nazi memes and dindunuffin jokes and murder planning to take them on.

Epik founder and CEO Rob Monster [appropriate name] echoed that sentiment in brief interviews with The Seattle Times on Sunday. Monster likened his company to a utility provider and said he supports free speech. He praised the operators of Gab and said he believes they will curate the site appropriately.

“I do believe the guys that are on the site are vigilant,” Monster said. Monster said on Epik’s website that his company was serving as Gab’s domain registrar but not its hosting company. KUOW was the first to report on Gab’s new ties to the Seattle area.

Yeah, Seattle. My hometown. So embarrassed. Unfortunately, the Pacific Northwest is a weird place that is generally liberal and progressive, but it’s also got a long history of racial segregation that has allowed a minority of terrible racists to prosper. Some of the worst, most regressive, most vile people I’ve known came out of the Northwest, some in my own family, but at the same time most of the people I knew were knee-jerk liberals. Almost all white, of course.

But this Monster guy is flatly delusional. Vigilant? Appropriate curators? With the announcement that it was back online, the first comments were all “blame the Jews” stuff.

Meanwhile, this Monster guy is blathering on about Free Speech and the heinous crime of de-platforming and the Founding Fathers and entrepreneurship, all as a smokescreen to justify providing support to a site that is basically the worst shit filtered out as too ghastly for other terrible social media sites, where awful people gather to enflame each other and applaud murder. Monster sounds like one of those glib libertarian jerks, but Torba is a Christian fanatic — a dreadful combination.

Could we at least draw the line at “free speech” that is nothing but hate speech intended to incite death and destruction?


  1. Rob Bos says

    I wonder if having a place like Gab, infested with and dominated by the deplorables, might be a positive thing for us. Instead of having them on Twitter or Facebook or whatever, concentrating the worst of the shit in a sewer, keeping it underground and safely away from the infectable and susceptible population might be the way to go.

    When such people are on more mainstream sources, it allows them to moderate their views, and present them in a way that people around them find acceptable. It gives them some credibility. When they’re alone in their cesspits, they feed off each other in a way that makes it absolutely clear who and what they are saying. It’s much more difficult for them to pretend to be reasonable; they are no longer diluted by respectability.

  2. says

    The “free speech” argument is incoherent. It’s almost as bad as “waah! Political correctness!”

    The argument has been made over and over. It’s like a matter of faith.

  3. Onamission5 says

    @Rob Bos
    Problem: members of hate groups feed into and off of each other’s bigotries, trying to one-up each other’s rabid rhetoric until one of them sends pipe bombs to more than a dozen political and press offices, drives a truck into a crowd of festival goers, bombs a medical clinic, or shoots up a night club, yoga studio, movie theater, church, or school. They then turn that person into a martyr/hero.

  4. Rob Bos says

    @Onamission5 – yeah, that’s a problem, for sure, and I admit I’m reaching for an upside. But at least in the sewer, you can maybe monitor the situation more easily?

    Analogies are not a great way to reason in this case. Do we want them in the general population spreading their ideas, or can we accept that keeping them together will radicalize the ones who do have it? Which will lead to fewer problems?

  5. latveriandiplomat says

    IIRC, he is antivax and his wife is a naturopath ( Crank magnetism strikes again?

    And in the distinction without much of a difference department, he is the domain registrar for gab, not hosting them.

  6. tacitus says

    #1:Rob Bos
    Nope, the problem is that is just a click away, and once you’re there’s nothing but full-on encouragement and validation for anyone even remotely thinking of indulging their racist and anti-Semitic tendencies free from any sense that they might be doing something wrong. Doesn’t help anyone.

  7. tacitus says

    Rob Monster is either lying to us, or lying to himself:

    My hope, for all of our sakes, is that treads wisely, using its liberty for the betterment of most, and the enlightenment of all.

  8. tacitus says

    So, looking around’s website, they appear to offer just about every web-hosting related service major providers like GoDaddy do. Typically, when some small, unknown company does that, they’re just a reskinned storefront affiliate of one of those major providers. I can’t tell from rooting around, but it’s certainly possible.

    If that’s true (and I don’t know if that’s the case here), they might be falling afoul of the Terms of Services they operate under, or their host company might not want the adverse publicity they’re bringing.

  9. tardigrada says

    I do believe that he is correct when he says they are vigilant. Just not in a way that any sane person would want it. I’m pretty sure, they are quick at stomping out any dissent or call for moderation. In fact anything that is against what they believe.

  10. gijoel says

    I look at a lot of guys like Monster and wonder if they’d be so accommodating if Islamist were demanding FREEZE PEACH. Who am I kidding of course they wouldn’t. I hope the subsequent boycotting of his businesses bleeds his bank account dry.

  11. chrislawson says

    Nice to see Rob Monster sticking up for the inalienable right of minorities to be mass-murdered.

  12. says

    Epik founder and CEO Rob Monster…

    Did this guy arrive in an experimental time capsule from the 90s or something? I imagine him being played by Pauly Shore, resplendent in a backwards baseball cap, in straight-to-DVD stoner comedy…

  13. curbyrdogma says

    Social media platforms are how ISIS recruited and mobilized, and there are parallels: angry, disenfranchised men looking for scapegoats…

  14. Onamission5 says

    I might misunderstand what you’re trying to say, but it seems like you believe that members of on line hate groups get sucked into an internet vortex which somehow keeps them from spreading their ideas amongst the broader population. Looking around the current situation in the US I really don’t think that’s the case.

    Is there some mechanism I am unaware of in which facilitating on line connections between like minded (in this case hatefully) people somehow keeps them from affecting their work environments, families, communities, the rest of us? Or is it more likely the case that what curbyrdogma describes @14 is also happening here? My perception is along those lines– hateful people finding each other and festering in an isolated, hateful stew-bubble of their own making, forming plans on how to disrupt and destroy their perceived enemies, and egging each other on to ill ends.

    If I have indeed misunderstood, I welcome correction.

  15. Joey Maloney says

    …see a horrifying mess of naked

    I’ve never been quite so grateful to see a sentence end with “antisemitism”.

  16. secondtofirstworld says

    I’m as sad as unsurprised, but I do disagree with Rob Bos on one thing, analogies are useful. It’s one thing to talk about how the white-green mushroom culture (radicalism) is on the surface of the spoiled food (democracy), but that’s not how it starts.

    Even with the best of intentions, none of your comments, frankly ever in general point out that it comes from the concept itself. To use a different analogy, the freedom of thought is like the iron particles, where a big shift, like a recession and/or demographic change, set the stage for radicals who latch onto people fearing said change. They’re the magnets that pull people away from reason into a domain where answers are childishly simplistic.

    The three major candidates in ’16 were a seemingly centrist, Wall Street-backed Democrat, a progressive, who bless his heart, wants good, but the foundation to bring the American social fabric closer to the idealized Nordic model is almost nonexistent, and a reality star who feeds on popularity.

    Where America is actually going is sardonically funny, correction, it’s only funny on paper. American democracy sails toward Latin America, Eastern Europe and other places with weak or nonexistent democracy traditions.

    There are still key questions which are avoided. The late-night comedians and the news cycle presents Northern states of today as if they’re the same as they were during the Civil War era, which they’re not. Of course, Northern states easily turn red when half a century and more ago former Southerners flocked northbound to “escape” living with minorities having civil rights. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that stubborn people do their utmost to raise their offspring in a similar fashion.

    That brings me to pre-grunge Seattle, that, much like Vancouver on the other side of the border has actively fought Asian immigration, which was fueled by declining and destabilized conditions in China and the Japanese Empire. That people 90 years later still think miscegenation was a good idea doesn’t shock me.

    A few months back I’ve already said that regions with a democracy deficit are proving grounds for the American how far they can go, and I was unfortunately proven right.

    I’m most certainly not Mr. Myers, but if I were a biologist, I’d recognize how radicals present Caucasians as a separate species on the delusional precipice of extension. Only the reason why most of Western Europe is exempt isn’t that unicorns live here. No, it’s because having shared common values very well exceeds such superficial commonalities like a skin color.

    America is different. I genuinely believe most American liberals truly hold these values, but, for the hundredth time: entropy matters. In this current elections, and there is a causality here, the nomination and acceptance of Kavanaugh mattered, and the states voting predominantly red are ones predominantly white. Live and let live is just a stage.

    The truth that sickens me that one doesn’t need to go further than popular sports and see that plenty of athletes belong to a demographic who not only can’t afford a club but more often than not can’t afford to go the matches either and without it, there’s a lack of common values.