Gab (social network)

Type of site
Social network service
Available in English
Headquarters San Mateo, California, U.S.A.
Owner Gab AI, Inc.
Industry Internet
Registration Required
Users 130 000
Launched August 15, 2016 (August 15, 2016) (beta)[1]
Current status Active (in beta)
Written in PHP

Gab is a San Mateo, California-based social networking service that allows users to post and read short messages called gabs. Gab enables its users, called Gabbers, to post up to 300 characters in one message/post[2] and to access additional functionality using special characters: # to create hashtags, @ to reference other users by username, and the ability to insert emoji and hyperlinks and to attach images. Gab describes its mission as "to put people and free speech first" by limiting "censorship" to filtering options made available to Gabbers.[3] Currently, Gab is only accessible to registered users, who must obtain an invitation to join.[4]


Gab was created in August 2016[5] as an alternative to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.[6] Founder and CEO Andrew Torba cited dissatisfaction with "the entirely left-leaning Big Social monopoly"[6] as part of the inspiration for Gab, which he created "after reading reports that Facebook employees suppress conservative articles".[7] Torba said in November that the site's user base had expanded significantly following censorship controversies involving major social media companies,[2] including the permanent suspensions from Twitter of several prominent conservative and "alt-right" accounts.[4]

As of December 2016, the service was still in beta and invitation-only,[4] and submitting an email address placed the user on a waiting list.[8]


Gab's color theme is a minimalist combination of black text on white panels with pink hashtags and usernames. The interface "behaves like a Twitter-Reddit hybrid",[4] displaying messages in a Twitter-like vertically-scrolling timeline format with a Reddit-like option to upvote or downvote each post. The site also aggregates popular posts and trending topic hashtags.[2][4][9]

A frog named "Gabby"[7] is the current logo of Gab and has been in use since the website's launch.


The service's popularity with self-identified "alt-right" users and Donald Trump supporters[2][5] and as its use of a frog logo (reminiscent of the Pepe the Frog meme[2] and frog emoji used by that group[5][9][10]), has led to it being described as "the alt-right's very own twitter,"[9] "the Make America Great Again of social sites,"[7] and "Twitter for racists."[11] The site has drawn criticism for providing a platform for users banned from other services,[4] including Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopolous,[7] self-described "alt-reich queen" Tila Tequila,[2] and white nationalists such as Richard B. Spencer[5][7] and "Ricky Vaughn",[4][7] as well as for not explicitly prohibiting hate speech.[9] The only restrictions on expression on the site are on threats of violence, promotion of terrorism, illegal pornography and doxing.[3]

Torba states that the choice of a frog logo was inspired by Bible verses (Exodus 8:1-12[12] and Psalms 78:45[13]) and various symbolic meanings.[7][14] He denies that Gab is "designed specifically for conservatives"[2] or "an alt-right echo chamber"[9] and has stated that "we welcome everyone and always will".[5] Torba also says that "We want everyone to feel safe on Gab, but we’re not going to police what is hate speech and what isn't."[9]


  1. Charlie Nash (2016-08-23). "Meet the CEO of Gab, The Free Speech Alternative to Twitter". Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Shaw, Adam (2016-11-28). "As Twitter cracks down on alt-right, aggrieved members flee to 'Gab'". Fox News. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  3. 1 2 "Guidelines. | Gab". Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Ohlheiser, Abby (2016-11-29). "Banned from Twitter? This site promises you can say whatever you want.". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Wilson, Jason (2016-11-17). "Gab: alt-right's social media alternative attracts users banned from Twitter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  6. 1 2 "This New Social Network Promises Almost-Total Free Speech To Its Users". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Hess, Amanda (2016-11-30). "The Far Right Has a New Digital Safe Space". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  8. "New social site Gab is getting popular with the 'alt-right'". Engadget. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ellis, Emma Grey. "Gab, the Alt-Right's Very Own Twitter, Is The Ultimate Filter Bubble". WIRED. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  10. Roy, Jessica. "How 'Pepe the Frog' went from harmless to hate symbol". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  11. VICE News (2016-11-02), VICE News Tonight: Twitter For Racists, retrieved 2016-12-03
  12. "Bible Gateway passage: Exodus 8:1-15 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  13. "Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 78:45 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2016-12-03.
  14. Benson, Thor. "Inside the "Twitter for racists": Gab — the site where Milo Yiannopoulos goes to troll now". Salon. Retrieved 2016-12-03.

External links

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