Visa blacklisted social media platform Gab.com today for “promoting hate speech.” Similar to Twitter, users Gab can send out messages to other users, follow other accounts and have others follow them. Gab bills itself as a free-speech platform. It does not shadow-ban, censor or de-platform users for posting messages that others might find offensive.
Gab does not allow users to incite violence or engage in conduct that leads to the harassment of other users – either online or off, however.
The platform has seen explosive growth over the last several months with new accounts numbering in the millions.
The site’s founder and CEO, Andrew Torba, strongly denied the characterization made by Visa that the platform promotes hate speech.
“Gab does no such thing,” Torba wrote in a post on the platform today. “Gab is a neutral technology platform. We follow the law, have an excellent relationship with law enforcement, and have a clear set of community guidelines that detail what is allowed on our website and what is not.”
“‘Risk related reasons’ is the excuse,” Torba wrote of what he was told by Visa when they blacklisted the company. “These banks have no problem processing payments for pornography websites which are loaded with child exploitation, human trafficking, and more. They have no problem processing payments for cannabis, which is still illegal at the federal level. They have no problems processing payments for gambling websites,” he added.
Censorship and blacklisting by big tech and financial firms have become more common in recent months. That, it’s been noted by many, is causing more and more people to seek out independent sources for their news, information and other needs. A fact Torba sees directly related to Visa’s decision today.
“Before Visa blacklisted us we were on pace to have our best month ever for revenue. Which is probably why they blacklisted us,” Torba wrote.