Gab, the social network that bills itself as the free speech alternative to Twitter, has banned congressional candidate Paul Nehlen from its platform. The ban came a few days after Nehlen posted the personal information of right-wing bomb thrower Ricky Vaughn after the two became involved in a heated argument.
Ricky Vaughn was known as an active, very vocal Trump supporter on Twitter throughout the 2016 election campaign. Left wing blogs and news organizations have labeled his account as one of the most active retweeters of supposed propaganda from alleged Russian bots. Ricky Vaughn also frequently posted anti-Jewish cartoons and rants.
Vaughn was kicked off of Twitter in October of 2016 for various apparent violations of their guidelines. Vaughn then moved to Gab, where he has been at least as active as he was on Twitter.
CEO and founder Andrew Torba took to Periscope to explain the reasoning behind banning Paul Nehlen:
Gab has banned Paul Nehlen for doxing https://t.co/8siKL1o3F3
— Gab: Free Speech Social Network (@getongab) April 5, 2018
Torba stated that the act of posting another person’s personal information, also known as doxing, is against Gab’s guidelines, a fact of which Paul Nehlen was apparently aware, as Torba talked about having warned Nehlen about this before. Gab’s guidelines do state that personal information is not to be shared without consent:
Users are prohibited from posting the confidential information of users. This includes but not limited to; home addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, passport numbers, credit card information, banking information, without their written, expressed authorization and consent.
Nehlen’s ban has received mixed reactions from users on Gab. Many users supported the ban, while others decried it in no uncertain terms. Some on Gab expressed concern that the platform was heading the way of other social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and would soon begin censoring viewpoints that the staff did not agree with. Other users pointed out that doxing is a very real concern on Gab, and questioned the wisdom of banning Paul Nehlen while letting other doxers go free.
It is worth noting that out of all the Leftist outlets gleefully reporting on Ricky Vaughn’s doxing, none of them have bothered to reach out to Andrew Torba or the staff at Gab.
Today’s episode of Trigger Warning Radio covers my personal thoughts on the Paul Nehlen/Ricky Vaughn controversy and what it means for the future of Gab: