One of the social media networks that positions itself as an alternative to more well-known ones like Facebook and Twitter is Gab, a website that was formed in 2016. While reiterating its dedication to free speech, Gab has come under fire for hosting offensive material, such as racist and antisemitic statements.
Based on the Center's research, the following are some important facts concerning Gab and its users:
One in ten American individuals (11%) have heard of Gab, and 1% report routinely getting their news there. Only 6% of Americans use any of the seven sites under investigation on a regular basis, and no single site is frequented by more than 2% of American adults. Comparatively, a lot more Americans use Twitter (14%), YouTube (25%) and Facebook (31%), more well-known social media platforms, for news.
Gab describes itself as a substitute for Big Tech and only moderates a small amount of information. Gab was the only website for which researchers were unable to locate any instances of accounts or posts being deleted for inaccurate information or offensive or harassing content in a September 2022 assessment of the seven websites the Center had reviewed. In talks with the media, Gab CEO Andrew Torba stated as much, dismissing the idea of removing anything from his platform. According to Gab, users can manage their own experiences rather than censoring this stuff. Users should be able to mute or block accounts that they find offensive as part of this. Several hosting and payment websites have suspended their connections with the platform as a result of this moderating approach.
Eight out of ten well-known Gab users make some sort of political or value appeal mention in their profiles. The Center's study from October 2022 looked at 200 well-known Gab accounts that were chosen among those with the greatest followers. Most of these accounts (79%) have values or other appeals in their profiles as of June 2022. For instance, almost four out of ten (37%) featured references to patriotism or a message in favour of the United States, and the same number (37%) conveyed some sort of religious identity. These percentages were higher for both measures than the corresponding statistics for the majority of the other alternative social media platforms the Center has evaluated. Additionally, 35% of these 200 well-known Gab accounts mentioned being pro- or right-leaning causes in their profiles.
Some of the topics that notable Gab accounts posted about in June 2022 included guns, abortion, and LGBTQ concerns. In June 2022, there were 80% of posts about guns and gun rights, 74% about abortion, 73% about LGBTQ issues, 70% about vaccines, and 69% about the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to an analysis of the postings from these 200 well-known Gab accounts. The major accounts on Gab discussed each of these topics more frequently than on any other website the Center looked at. (These articles were published at a time when a U.S. House committee was looking into the riot on January 6 and there was much talk about a number of high-profile shootings, the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and other events.