January 6, 2021
Today, the New York Times wrote an article attempting to place the blame for today’s events in D.C. on social media sites like Gab:
“On social media sites requested by the far-right, such as Gab…. directions on which streets to take to avoid the police and which tools to bring to help pry open doors were exchanged in comments.”
- First: it appears that the Capitol Police allowed protestors into the Capitol complex. We do not control the Capitol Police.
- Second: we work with law enforcement, state, federal, and international, to promote public safety. We proactively report when our moderation team discovers content which we believe poses an imminent threat to life and respond rapidly when law enforcement identifies any such threat. We do not comment on our communications with law enforcement in emergency situations, even when it is inconvenient to do so from a public relations perspective.
- Third: we do not preemptively scan user content for criminal speech. Before the Capitol was occupied by protestors we had no idea what would come from today’s protests in D.C.
- Fourth: as a result of app store bans, we do not have a mobile app. The majority of our users use Gab on desktop devices, which obviously are not easy to bring and use at a protest. The overwhelming majority of people using Gab today were observing the protest from home and reporting what they saw online.
- Fifth: the people in attendance at today’s event in D.C. are on Twitter and Facebook, too, and in far larger numbers than Gab.
To be perfectly honest, organizations like the New York Times are the problem here. Over the course of 2020, political violence across the United States has been normalized by Democratic Party politicians and the mainstream media who excused away and refused to enforce the law against “peaceful protestors” – in reality violent agitators and domestic terrorists – who embarked upon various outrages including the occupation of several square blocks of Seattle, the setting fire to small businesses and federal buildings across the U.S., and yes, even forcing D.C. to board up on more than one occasion.
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