Before I start to present my view on this matter, I would like to request the readers to please learn that this entry/ article or piece of writing (not so good, I guess) has been filed under ‘Opinion’, and all the views presented here on this page are exclusively mine. I am completely aware of the fact that I may be wrong at some points, but I am sane enough to understand, accept and correct me. So, if you find any of my point invalid in your view or sense then do let me know. However, every point/ view is related with another to give this opinion a sensible direction.
It feels real bad when so many people start to blame or corner you for something that you haven’t done! Or atleast, if you think you haven’t been the part of anything wrong!
We often come across pages or profiles of individuals who post bad content like hate speech against some religion, political parties etc., on different social media platforms. Different people act differently when they come across such content. However, I am not going to talk about how they act. It’s obvious!
The reason why am I talking about this is because of the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue accident.
What happened in Pittsburgh Synagogue is horrific and I express my deepest condolences for the lives that were lost and the people who have suffered due to this accident.
I am not a law person and can’t speak law much, but, I got to say one thing, US law makers seem futuristic and I admire them for their intelligence. The First Amendment is constructed so well that they truly figured as to what needs to be protected under Freedom of Speech and what not.
Talking about Freedom of Speech, Gab is a kind of social media platform which claims, “The Home Of Free Speech Online”, and because of which it’s not getting liked by many! It’s true that the accused had a history of posting anti-semitic statements on a ‘new’ kind of social media platform.
Ever since this horrific accident happened, Gab.com has been accused or blamed to be the reason of this accident and is receiving a gigantic bad press across the globe and not only this, but also has already faced bans from tech giants like PayPal, Stripe etc., the latest to ban Gab is Pusher. Yesterday, GoDaddy threatened Gab to move its domain name to another domain registrar.
If you head over to the official Gab’s Twitter account, you will feel like media and tech biggies are acting strange! And, Why So? Because the accused had posted a statement before committing this horrific crime?
The media is accusing Gab for not banning the account of the accused and that why didn’t it act fast after the accused posted his last statement?
The media might sound right to you in the first place because you haven’t heard Gab’s point of view on this. Or, you just didn’t bother to dig a bit deeper into the matter! Here’s an advice – be sure to read the points of both and not just media’s or Gab alone.
Gab’s founder says that the accused had posted his last statement on the site about 4 minutes before committing the crime and that what possibly could they had done in that time!
— Gab.com🕊 (@getongab) October 29, 2018
However, the media’s take on this is that why did they allow an individual for so long to use the platform to post such hateful content!
Here’s where Gab’s ideology collides with the media!
Gab’s Twitter profile description reads, “Gab.com is a social network built, owned and funded by The People with a mission to defend individual liberty and free expression online.” Not limited to this, the platform does invite those people who are banned from major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and which raises eyebrows!
According to Andrew Torba, it is not wise to blame the whole platform for the horrific actions of an individual and that if they are already co-operating with the concerning departments then why the platform is being blamed. He added that if this is how it is done then why Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc., are still up and running, these platforms do have hateful content or other kind of objectionable content live on it.
I think, if Gab wants to give people the freedom of speech then it does require to establish a system so strong that no one would be able to use the same for bad reasons like Robert Bowers did!
Here’s an recommendation from me – as Andrew Torba said in the interview that the police or the concerning departments can track the people based on their statements posted on the platform, then why don’t you start tagging accounts that post hate speech related content with something like ‘User posts content that may hurt your feelings (based on other users’ reviews)’? This way you will be able to give your users a feature so strong that they can keep themselves and the platform safe. Not only this, but you will be able to attract more people to your platform because of this unique feature that no other social media platform is providing, as not everybody is interested in jumping to an argument right away! Also, this feature will be completely relevant to the platform and is also important as Gab is “The Home Of Free Speech Online”.
It looks to me like there is absolutely no need to host content related to hate speech or abusing any religion etc., as I don’t find it helpful in anyway! If you consider abusing any religion or hateful speech as freedom of speech, then you are absolutely wrong.
As the accused person had used Gab.com to post hateful content and did such horrific crime then it is Gab’s responsibility to come up with better terms and conditions to prevent such accident in future, as surely the current terms and conditions weren’t strong enough!
Simply by cursing the media and tech giants won’t gonna help. So what, if Facebook and Twitter also have hateful content present on it, that doesn’t mean that you would open an exclusively new platform to host such bad content in the name of Freedom of Speech! I know that Gab is not for the criminals, but the social media platform needs a new set of rules to ensure the safety of the people!
Media might look villain to the founder of Gab, but inviting the banned people from other social media platforms and not implementing strong features, and policies, is something that can’t be considered as wise. Come up with features and policies so strong that no one would be able to point a finger on you. I fully support freedom of speech, but that doesn’t mean I support hate speech or anything related to it.
I am not taking sides, it just like media might show one side of the story sometimes, but it never stops us to do our own research!
I think Gab should stop the blame game as it won’t get anything by doing this. We all know that awful content is all over the internet and especially on social media websites. If Gab uses this time to construct a safer or better set of rules or regulations and some more features to keep their users safe and the platform clean, then I think they can build an even better platform than any exists right now!
As of now, Gab needs to understand the difference between what is considered as hate speech and what falls under the fair use of Freedom of Speech. This is something that most likely people would like to hear.
Do correct me, if I am wrong at any point and I would love to hear your views as well. Do share your views via comment box below.