Following this appalling shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue it looks like Gab.AI is in trouble again. As we’re repeatedly told it’s where all the racists and other far right bad guys hang out and as such other support companies are unwilling to work with them. Thus such things as hosting, delivery through cloud systems, payment processing and so on are being denied. Everyone does indeed have the right to decide who they’ll do business with – baking gay cakes is, to my mind no different from dealing or not with anti-semites. Your morals, your choice is how it works for me.
True, that’s not how the rest of the world seems to work but there we are.
So, the supporting legs of the service seem to be being cut off:
Gab, the social media service favored by Pittsburgh synagogue mass killer Robert Bowers, will become digitally homeless Monday morning, after its hosting service decided it would stop working with the men who founded the site specifically to afford people like Bowers an online home.
Hosting company Joyent notified Gab’s leaders of the decision on Saturday, the service said on its Twitter account.
This follows Stripe and PayPal withdrawing their services and past arguments with Microsoft over cloud access and so on. And I reiterate that all those suppliers have, by my lights, an absolute right to offer or deny service to whoever they want for whatever reason. Yes, I’m aware that’s not what the law says but then I think it should. Just as I equally argue that racists and others have an absolute right to say what they wish to. Libel and incitement to immediate violence are the two constraints on free speech and as long as neither are breached then spout on.
Not that that’s a popular opinion these days but then so what.
The particular thing that interests and amuses here though is ThinkProgress.
Gab’s evaporation is more likely to produce a new migration than any real closing of the vast, virulent race-hate frontier online. The hosting company’s decision will kick off a repeat of the same scramble that other past attempts to deny these people country on the internet has spawned: White supremacists and violence-bent right-wing voices will find and then flock to some new vendors and support services, and keep the hate machine pinging along under new banners.
You can feel the desire for this not to be true, can’t you?
But it’s also a practical matter: racist eyeballs generate revenue for hosting companies and ad sellers. Someone will pop up to tap that vein afresh now that Joyent, Paypal, and Stripe have rediscovered their sense of shame.
Nobody should enable these people to speak, they should be entirely cut off from the rest of civilisation. No ads, no hosting, no revenue, no support services.
And at the bottom of the piece is this:
Rather the biter bit, don’t you think? Those we disagree with must be cut off from the economy, from civilisation, no advertising networks, no support services. Sure, there will be collateral damage but it’s all worth it, right?