Social Media Networking and the Suspension, and Reinstatement, of GAB

After various dissident right factions successfully usurped the cultural hegemony of progressivism in 2016 – culminating in the landslide electoral victory of US president Donald Trump – the corporatist left has recently doubled down on enforcing ideological conformity online. Social media networks such as FaceBook and Twitter proved to be inavlulable resources in breaking the far-left’s stranglehold on shaping the official news-narrative. Their utilisation by dissidents on the political and cultural right showed how decentralised grass-root campaigning could indeed stop, or even reverse, the ratcheting effect of liberalism.

This poses a huge challenge to the legacy press and the dominance of institutions that sing from the Cultural Marxist hymnal. The public no longer takes its cue from the incestuous network of “acceptable” mediators of the “mainstream” press; it is no longer beholden to the tight control of talking-heads who claim independence but who have consistently proven themselves to be the public relations arm of both wings of the liberal status quo coalition. The ability to create sovereign networks of communication among those who question the core political assumptions of the current establishment is understandably unacceptable to the powers-that-be. Online, netizens who value their freedom of speech have broken free from the gate-keepers of news information. Obviously, their networks must be “shut down”, or at the very least, disrupted.

The manner in which this is done is typical, and therefore predictable. Benchmarks of acceptable conduct are set according to largely meaningless concepts, or those which are by their very nature defined subjectively. That way, any target of a complaint can – and invariably will, if he is a member of a “privileged” class – be held as guilty of transgressing against online codes of conduct that ostensibly exist to guarantee a “safe space” for the easily aggrieved. The effectively deprivileged groups, of course, form a nexus symbolically represented by the White, male, conservative. The fact that many corporate entities have become fully converged with the Social Justice Left means that the manner in which these “equitable” principles are applied are highly politicised.

And so, in 2016, a series of prominent conservative, libertarian and identitarian users of Twitter had their accounts “suspended”. Perhaps the most notorious suspensions was that of Milo Yiannopoulos, the technology editor for Breitbart News. Another suspension was of a user who posted under the pseudonym of “Ricky Vaughn”, a prominent supporter of the Trump campaign who boasted a following so substantial he was held to be one of the top 100 most influential people during that campaign. Yet another notable suspension was of Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute (US) and the main advocate of the “alternative right”. Spencer, however, had his account mysteriously reinstated; Yiannopoulos, Vaughn and many others, alas did not.

These purges from Twitter established a need for alternative social media networking platforms that were immune to the militant activism of “Social Justice Warriors”, and impervious to progressive campaigns of slander and defamation against online “reactionaries”. GAB came to fill this need and has become the fastest growing such network. The platform has become a haven for users who consider freedom of speech the highest social value online, who oppose speech codes and reject the theory that leftist ideological policing will create an environment that is more conducive to the exchange of ideas. GAB had, of course, an account on Twitter. That account was very seldom used. After the election of Donald Trump, its administrator cleaned its tweet archive. There does not appear to have been any complaint made against any of GAB’s tweets. Nevertheless, last week, GAB’s Twitter account was suspended…

… and then last Friday, Twitter reinstated GAB’s account. In the period of the aforementioned Twitter Purge, the company suspended over a quarter of a million accounts on its social media platform. GAB has come under particular pressure from other companies, such as Apple which has refused to authorise the use of the GAB App. GAB has also been suspended from FaceBook, thus preventing it from communicating with people on that platform and marketing its product to potential users. In response to the continued isolation of GAB, users have been deleting their own Twitter accounts in protest before it was reinstated. The exodus from Twitter has arguable contributed to its stock crash and the resulting decline in the company’s value. Ironically, it appears that the SJW converged corporate sector simply cannot win in the long term: either it must reject its crusades against political dissent, or it will dive out or ostracize its patrons.

The ideology of the SJW is incongruous to the legitimate business interests of many companies, especially those who have chosen to allow themselves to become vehicles for the prosecution of political agendas that are irrelevant to their main commercial enterprise. While some companies may plead that their intentions are honourable – such as trying to limit the amount of online abuse between their users – they do not seem to appreciate the politically partisan nature of their internal grievance mechanisms. The result is that social media platforms themselves (not just users) will polarise along politica and cultural lines. If 2016 was the year when social media allowed localist and identitarian reaction to win against transnational liberal globalism, 2017 will the year when the losing side will spare no effort to neuter our most valuable and effective weapons.

Thus, we conclude with an appeal to our readers and followers to visit GAB and establish an account there. It is entirely likely that the Twitter Purge will continue. If we are to maintain the ability to communicate with each other, secondary structures will need to be in place to prevent lines of dialogue and information exchange being torn away. Eventually – perhaps sooner rather than later – these secondary mechanisms will be the primary place where patriots can gather and speak freely without molestation. The Sydney Traditionalist Forum‘s GAB account can be accessed here:

SydneyTrads Editors

SydneyTrads is the web page of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum: an association of young professionals who form part of the Australian independent right (also known as “non-aligned right”).

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