Could it be that there’s something more to the 100 flavors of vanilla that make up the current white supremacist movement than free speech?
The picture of the noose surrounded by swastikas was the last straw. “It’s coming for you, are you excited?” a user on Gab wrote to Utsav Sanduja. Sanduja said he was calling the cops.
But Sanduja’s promise to alert law enforcement only made his opponents angrier.
Sanduja is the chief operating officer of Gab, a social media site beloved by the alt-right, including a vocal contingent of Nazis. The company bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter and Facebook. But the site’s anything-goes ethos seems to have chafed against its leadership; in recent weeks, members of Gab’s executive team have publicly railed against the site’s users, accusing some of sabotage and “PSYOPS,” with Gab execs threatening to call law enforcement on those users—a cardinal sin among some of the site’s “free speech” die-hards.
Could it be that white supremacists who whine about free speech when told to shut up are indeed a bunch of violent thugs who need to shut up?
But the fringes who flocked to Gab became some of its earliest critics, with some questioning Torba’s motives in founding the site. Members of the Gab’s large anti-semitic wing noted that its url (Gab.ai) loosely translates to a Hebrew word meaning an assistant in a synagogue, and speculated that the site was actually a ruse by shadowy Jewish forces who would one day crush Gab’s user base in some unspecified fashion.
But the ambient antagonism between Gab’s execs and some of its users has exploded recently, with Torba and Sanduja alleging a conspiracy against the site, and threatening to call law enforcement on users.
Last week, Sanduja set off a firestorm on the site, after he perceived Jared Wyand (an alt-righter who was kicked off Twitter, ostensibly for claiming that Star Wars promotes “white genocide”) to to be threatening him.
“You have a false sense of security that leads to a leaky mouth in a room full of highly capable men who have their backs to the walls,” Wyand wrote Sanduja on Gab. “That’s a very large mistake but don’t let it stop you. 😉”
Yes they are.
But according to Gab’s execs the answer is a definite maybe. Because they think part of the problem is mean, nasty, sneaky Ess Jay Doubleyous who have given themselves Hilter mustaches by smearing melted carob on their upper lips so they can pretend to be nazis.
Sanduja said he and Torba think some of Gab’s Nazis are actually fake Nazis, who are just trying to make Gab look bad.
How do they know?
“We have seen instances where there are people who claim to be Nazis, but are in fact on the payroll of various SJW [social justice warrior] groups,” and trying to damage Gab’s reputation, he said. “We know that for a fact because we have a lot of you could say hacktivists or engineers or political activists that are actively on the darkweb and report to us on activities going on against our community and our site.”
Or you could say imaginary friend.
He declined to offer the proof because “until we are fully confident with that, it would be irresponsible and premature for us to go ahead and do that.”
Unfortunately, Torba appeared to have jumped gun the previous evening, sharing a post that accused the liberal media site Shareblue of supporting fake Gab accounts.
“Shareblue has invested a lot of money into this subversion operation and I cannot for the life of me understand their end game,” the post read.
“We’ve never heard of Gab, and so I don’t have anything to add here,” Shareblue Chief Operations Officer Will Lippincott told The Daily Beast.
Not content to decline to offer proof, Sanduja clarified that he didn’t really have any proof, he repeating an interpretation of events constructed by a bunch of conspiracy spewing jackasses.
“I’m not going to say to you that I have proof, I’m not going to say to you that this is a factual statement point-blank,” he said, “but this is really rooted in speculation, circumstantial evidence, hearsay based on a lot of reports we get from our community.”
But only the part of the community that isn’t mean, nasty sneaky SJWs. Maybe.