One of the most prominent social media sites in the far-right community may be kicked off its domain in the next week over violating hate speech rules.
Early on Monday, the social media chat site Gab.ai posted a letter it received from its domain registrar saying it will seize the domain in five days if the site doesn’t find a new host.
BREAKING: Gab's domain registrar has given us 5 days to transfer our domain or they will seize it. The free and open web is in danger. pic.twitter.com/Irl6KO5Xmr
— Gab (@getongab) September 18, 2017
In a statement to Business Insider, Gab said it “acted in good faith” by booting the user, but it was still was “looking for a domain registrar provider that supports lawful, politically incorrect free speech.”
“The user in question violated our own Guidelines, multiple times,” Gab spokesperson Utsav Sanduja said in a statement. “The First Amendment does not endorse calls to violence. Further to this, based on our interpretation of the ‘true threat’ doctrine, we believed the user to be dangerous and a threat to public safety, law and order.”
Gab has styled itself as a free speech alternative to other social media sites that have booted users.
Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulous, who was banned from Twitter following a racially-tinged harassment campaign directed at “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones, has been a cheerleader for the site, asking like-minded individuals to join, partially in protest to crackdowns on inflammatory speech on the major social media platforms.
The New York Times described the platform in November as a “new digital safe space” for the far right, which bans “child pornography, threats of violence, terrorism, and not much else.”
But Gab’s tolerance of speech that major tech companies find objectionable has hit a wall.
Last week, Gab sued Google for allegedly violating federal antitrust laws when Google booted Gab from the Google Play app store over violations of Google’s hate speech policies. As The Washington Post notes, high-profile neo-Nazis have embraced the site following recent crackdowns by domain registrars on white nationalist websites like The Daily Stormer.
Google has dismissed the lawsuit as baseless.
“In order to be on the Play Store, social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people,” Google said. “This developer is welcome to appeal the suspension if they’ve addressed the policy violations and are compliant with our Developer Program Policies.”