Even after the victory of their god emperor, Donald Trump, the alt right is still feeling a bit persecuted these days.
Twitter began a poorly timed post-election purge to remove prominent alt righters from the site, like Richard Spencer and Pax Dickinson. So how are a bunch of “totally-not-racist” anti-globalist crusaders supposed to get their message out?
Well, thank newly appointed deity Trump for an alternative social network where free speech is encouraged. These thought leaders of alternative politics have a safe place (or at least safer than a Hamilton show) to discuss their views and rally the troops.
Gab.ai, a new social network, operates pretty much like Twitter with upvotes and an extremely laissez faire attitude toward free speech. The site’s founder told Heat Street in August that Gab is definitely not an “alt right Twitter.” But since then, it has definitely become the alt right Twitter alternative as well as a haven for the victims of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.
So far not much is happening in their new home, save for complaining about getting kicked off Twitter. Former reality star and current Nazi Tila Tequila was suspended from Twitter yesterday after posting a picture of her Nazi saluting, and did not mince words over the incident.
Leader of WeSearchr, Pax Dickinson, is also finding Gab a great place for his views.
But prominent alt right provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos and Chuck Johnson, both banned from Twitter long ago, have already been using Gab. And while initially enthusiastic about the new network, their posting is irregular. It appears they have not found the Gab a complete replacement for their chronic Twitter habits. Even Richard Spencer, the wannabe leader of the alt right, rarely posts in Gab, despite having a verified account.
This is actually a big problem for them. While many in the alt right treat their Twitter ban like a badge of honor, being on a site like Gab is pointless. The alt right are culture warriors, and in order to fight a culture war there must be conflict. On Gab, the alt right simply has a place to agree with each other. No longer can these people dog pile journalists who speak out against Trump or get in petty arguments with liberals.
While the alt right might act like Twitter censorship only makes them stronger, taking them off a platform they used to intimidate others certainly makes them weaker.
If Gab opens up and appeals to more leftists it could inspire the free-wheeling, fiery cultural debate befitting of a free-speech network. But as it stands, the culture warriors have no war to fight on Gab, and while they may call it heaven, it’s acting more as a walled garden for their shitty alt right ideas.