Gab Founder and CEO Andrew Torba said he’s contacted President Donald Trump‘s team to get him on the conservative friendly social media platform.
Torba said the website had previously reserved Trump’s official Gab account (gab.com/realdonaldtrump), and it has nearly 422,000 followers waiting for his posts, Gab reported.
“This is a coup on our country by foreigner-run Big Tech companies,” Torba said. “It must not stand. Something must be done and at Gab we are building solutions. The government has done nothing and will do nothing. No one is coming to save us. We must save ourselves.”
Torba’s efforts come in response to news that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have frozen Trump’s accounts until he deletes posts that call for peace while challenging the election’s outcome.
“Our task is not an easy one, but neither was the task of our Founding Fathers. We must fight to defend free speech on the internet now more than ever,” Torba said. “Our country, and indeed the world, depends on it. Our children are counting on us to rise to the occasion and defend freedom just as so many have done before us.”
As Torba works to bring Gab its most influential user, the New York Times is working to discredit Gab as a social media platform, along with Parler, that spreads violence.
“On social media sites requested by the far-right, such as Gab and Parler, directions on which streets to take to avoid the police and which tools to bring to help pry open doors were exchanged in comments,” NYT reporter Sheera Frenkel wrote. “At least a dozen people posted about carrying guns into the halls of Congress.”
Renee DiResta, a researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory, said the far-right has fallen prey to an echo chamber on social media, though she fails to mention that far-left and left-wing voices dominate social media, mainstream media, and entertainment.
“These people are acting because they are convinced an election was stolen,” she said. “This is a demonstration of the very real-world impact of echo chambers.”