WHYY intervierwed Jeremy, Joel, and Barry about Gab, hate online, social networks, and our work and mission.
Gab launched in 2016 and claims to have more than 800,000 users. The company describes itself as a defender of free speech, an alternative to platforms like Facebook or Twitter it says have become too politically correct. CEO Andrew Torba has argued that efforts to limit “fake news” and offensive content on social media have resulted in censorship.
The site’s claim of being a marketplace for free speech is a facade, said Joel Finkelstein, a neuroscientist at Princeton University. Finkelstein directs the Network Contagion Research Institute, a nonprofit that studies how hate spreads online and includes collaborators in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe.
“It’s very clear that free speech is a coded way of saying the alt-right can say what they want,” Finkelstein said.