Gab.ai CEO Andrew Torba took to Twitter Thursday evening to report the social media platform’s Andriod app was removed from the Google Play Store.
Subsequent to Gab’s removal from the store, Torba took to Periscope to expand on the ban. Torba warned Silicon Valley that the “alt-technology” revolution has begun, prompting new, decentralized platforms outside the grasp corporate forces that shut it down in the first place.
Recently, Gab crowdfunded a whopping $1 million in capital to grow the platform.
“F*CK YOU Silicon Valley elitist trash,” declared Gab following the massive fundraise.
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Gab launched almost exactly a year ago with a definite ethos: Free speech at all cost.
That’s proving to be an attractive proposition for far-right elements that are now flocking to the platform after being driven out of the internet’s biggest shared spaces.
The Twitter-like service has received an influx of users—and money—in the past few weeks as internet companies have cracked down on hate speech following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s just one of the places on the internet that are becoming a haven for far-right individuals and groups, as well as a growing population that sees Silicon Valley companies as abusing their positions of power.
Andrew Torba, a former ad tech founder who launched Gab, illustrated the hard line he feels has been abandoned.
“This is just another great example of the ideological echo chamber in Silicon Valley. You see all these companies one after another coming out with the same exact message, same exact stance. There’s nobody saying ‘no, we stand for free speech. We hate some of the vile things that are said.’ Either you support free speech or you do not. Period.”
Torba is far from alone. Gab’s fundraising efforts netted $500,000 in the past week (bringing its total to more than $1 million). In the last 30 days, Gab has had more than 25,000 sign-ups. The site currently has 225,000 users creating approximately 1.2 million posts (or “gabs”) per month.
Apple has kept the app out of its store, citing “pornographic content” allegedly posted to the platform.
Apple’s App Store rejected the app for social network and free-speech Twitter alternative Gab, claiming that it “includes pornographic content” posted by users.
“We are writing to let you know the results of your appeal for your app, Gab for iOS,” replied Apple to the submission. “Your app includes pornographic content. Please refer to the attached screenshot (Note, the screenshot includes explicit content). Apps with explicit content and themes are not appropriate for the App Store.”
“While we understand your app may include mature content, the content provided in the previous screenshot is not appropriate for the App Store in any situation at any rating. Please ensure this content is removed, any similar content is removed, and you are monitoring and filtering content that is similar in nature,” the notice states. “As stated in section 1.2 of the guidelines, your app must include ‘A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app.’”