CNN’s Jake Tapper says the far right social media platform Gab, run by an antisemitic Christian nationalist, has “hideously racist” posts and embedded “Nazism” as part of its “popular” offerings – and says after he reported his findings founder Andrew Torba called him the “son of the Devil” and claimed the site hosts “pro-life” and “Christian content.”
Tapper on Monday took a walk into the world of far-right social media platforms, after Kanye West announced his intention to buy the flailing site Parler, and glanced at Facebook and Twitter as well, but says the so-called “free speech” sites on the far-right are filled with hate – and that “the hate is the whole point.”
Tapper says of the far right sites he looked at, Gab has “the fewest rules” and “the lowest standards” when it comes to content moderation.
“I signed up for Gab this morning. I clicked on ‘Explore,’ which took me to ‘popular posts across Gab.’ I came in with an open mind and immediately Gab hit me with this post: ‘We are in a war time but it’s a quiet war perpetrated by the Jew,’ with a picture of Adolf Hitler,” Tapper told CNN viewers.
“And there was plenty more where that came from. The ‘N’ word is super big on Gab. It is a cesspool of hate,” Tapper observed.
And while Gab “takes precautions,” it “doesn’t seem to care about hate speech.”
“The more speech I saw on Gab this afternoon, was more speech extolling Nazis and more speech engaging in Holocaust denial, and more speech sharing more hideously racist posts than I’ve ever seen in one place in my life,” Tapper said. “I saw less of it but still too much of it on Parler today.”
“It’s high time we recognize that the hate on many of these far-right sites is not just an unfortunate result of belief in free speech. The Hate is the whole point.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) calls Gab a “haven for hate and disinformation,” and “an online hub for extremist and conspiratorial content.”
“Gab quickly became known as a platform used by conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, members of militias and influential figures among the alt right,” the ADL adds. “Over the last two years, Torba has worked to insert Gab, himself and Christian nationalism into mainstream society and politics, primarily through relationships with elected officials and candidates.”
Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba has promoted the white genocide or “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory and has been called an advisor to Republican state senator Doug Mastriano, a far right 2020 election denying Christian nationalist running for governor of Pennsylvania, where Gab is based. (While never condemning Torba, Mastriano denies the relationship, but there are receipts of Gab doing “consulting” work for Mastriano, who has also told Torba, “Thank God for what you have done.”)
Tuesday morning Tapper took to Twitter to share that Torba attacked him after his Monday report aired on CNN.
Tapper shared the video of the posts he saw on Gab, which includes the antisemitic one he quoted on-air that had the photo of Adolf Hitler.
“Gab’s antisemitic founder is attacking me with the accusation he makes about folks who report factually about his site, that I’m the son of the devil. Totally normal stuff,” Tapper tweeted.
He also posted screenshots of Torba’s posts on Gab.
“Jake Tapper reported on CNN tonight that Gab’s Explore page was filled with Hitler memes and n word posts,” Torba wrote on Gab.
“Reality,” he claimed, “pro-life content, Christian content, content from multiple members of Congress, wholesome animal videos, etc.”
But he didn’t stop there.
“Jake Tapper = John 8:44,” Torba added.
For those unfamiliar with every Bible verse, one version of John 8:44 reads: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Watch Tapper’s CNN report below, see his tweets above, or at this link.