Microsoft, one of the largest Big Tech companies in the world, has given Andrew Torba, founder of the free speech social network Gab, 48 hours to delete two posts made by one of its users. Failure to do so will result in Microsoft Azure pulling its services from Gab.
How would such a move affect the beloved alternative to Twitter?
Is this part of a concerted effort on the part of Big Tech and Mainstream Media flunkies to silence conservative and center-right voices?
What does such a move mean for free speech on the Internet?
I’ll answer all those questions and more on this episode of Trigger Warning Radio.
- Microsoft has threatened Gab over two posts by user Patrick Little.
- Posts made almost a month ago.
- Microsoft will pull their Azure hosting from Gab if posts aren’t deleted in 48 hours.
- Pulling Microsoft Azure will lead to Gab being down for weeks or months.
- Effectively kills the social media platform.
- Timing is very suspicious.
- Is this collusion between Big Tech companies to remove centrists and conservatives from the Internet?
- How is this a free and fair market?
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Soon after I posted this episode Andrew Torba took action. Gab has removed Patrick Little’s posts. Torba released a brief statement on Gab explaining the reasoning:
Here is the reality. One of @Patrick_little’s posts unquestionably breaks our user guidelines—and probably US law. The other is offensive and edgy and something we obviously don’t agree with, but there is much worse on Twitter/Facebook/Reddit about white people that is allowed to stay.
This is a very serious situation. We need to make real decisions that impact the hundreds of thousands of users on this site and our shareholders, customers, etc. It’s not a game.
Patrick stated multiple times today that he was going to delete the posts himself.
Now he is playing games. He is not a man of his word, so we took action and removed both posts. We had no choice.
We are actively looking into other hosting providers and our longterm goal is building our own infrastructure. Both of these will take time. Time we do not have under Microsoft’s 48 hour game.
We believe this was the best decision for the longevity of the platform and the war against Silicon Valley.
Did Torba make the right decision? It’s hard to say, but I can’t see how it could have been any different. Especially with Little refusing to honor his word.