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Recently the concept of ‘no platform’ was in the news again when there were attempts to cancel a talk by Germaine Greer at Cardiff University. While there is no doubt that the use of ‘no platform’ has expanded since its first use in the 1970s, the term is bandied about in the media with little definition and understanding of how it was developed as a specific response to the fascism of the National Front (and later the British National Party). This post looks back at the origins of the term and how it was developed into a practical anti-fascist strategy.
It seems like just the other day that Reddit finally banned a handful of its most hateful and deplorable subreddits, including r/coontown and r/fatpeoplehate. The move was, at the time, derided by some as pointless, akin to shooing criminals away from one neighborhood only to trouble another. But a…
Alex Jones says getting banned by YouTube and Facebook will only make him stronger. The research says that's not true.
The gunman had a history of anti-Semitic posts on the site
On Saturday, a firearm-wielding man massacred at least 11 people attending Shabbat services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood and injured a number of others. The Anti-Defamation League described it as likely the deadliest single attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history. Authorities identified the suspect, who was captured after a gun battle with responding police, as 46-year-old Robert Bowers—a vitriolic anti-Semite who allegedly announced the attack on the social network Gab.
Another company takes a stand for the limits of free speech online.
After the Pittsburgh shooter was found to have used the site, it was abandoned by its business partners. What does that mean for Twitter?
Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy.
Gab isn’t going anywhere.
It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn’t matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people.
You have all just made Gab a nationally recognized brand as the home of free speech online at a time when Silicon Valley is stifling political speech they disagree with to interfere in a US election.
The internet is not reality. TV is not reality. 80% of normal everyday people agree with Gab and support free expression and liberty. The online outrage mob and mainstream media spin machine are the minority opinion. People are waking up, so please keep pointing the finger at a social network instead of pointing the finger at the alleged shooter who holds sole responsibility for his actions.
No-platform us all you want. Ban us all you want. Smear us all you want.
You can’t stop an idea.
As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.
Andrew Torba, CEO Gab.com
My intent is also to archive a copy of the enhanced statement on what is left of their current website.
An investigation into the media's coverage of white supremacist groups.
For more than a year, Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter at The Guardian US, has been showing up at white nationalist rallies, taking their pictures, writing down what they say. And she finds herself thinking: How did we get here? How did her beat as a political reporter come to include interviewing Nazis? And what are the consequences of giving these groups this much coverage?
In this week's program, we revisit this deep dive into what the news media often get wrong about white supremacists, and what those errors expose about the broader challenge of confronting racism in America.
1. Elle Reeve [@elspethreeve], correspondent for VICE News, Anna Merlan [@annamerlan], reporter for Gizmodo Media’s special projects desk, Vegas Tenold [@Vegastenold], journalist and author of Everything You Love Will Burn, and Al Letson [@Al_Letson], host of Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting, on the pitfalls and perils of covering white supremacist groups. Listen.@garyyounge], editor-at-large for The Guardian, and Josh Harkinson [@joshharkinson], former senior writer at Mother Jones, on how individual identity impacts reporting on discriminatory movements. Listen.
4. Ibram X. Kendi [@DrIbram], professor of history and international relations at American University and author of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America," on the enduring myths surrounding the perpetuation of racist ideas and whose interests these misconceptions serve. Listen.
I particularly liked the Ibram X. Kendi portion of the interview and am ordering his book Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which was a National Book Award Winner.
As most of you know, I deactivated my Twitter account earlier this month. It had been a long time coming, for a whole host of reasons, but Twitter’s decision to be the only social network tha…
While Wil maintains it more like an old school blog with longer thought pieces and stories, there’s certainly no reason he couldn’t use it to post shorter thoughts, status updates, or notes as he might do on Twitter or Mastodon. It’s also an “instance” which no one is going to kick him off of. He has ultimate control. If people moan and complain, he can moderate their complaints as he sees fit.
This particular post has 410 comments, most of which seem relatively civil and run a paragraph or two–at least enough to convey a complete and coherent thought or two. At some point he decided to cap the commentary for mental health or any other reason he may have, which is certainly his right as well as the right of anyone on their own website. Sadly most social services don’t provide this functionality.
I also notice that instead of trying to rebuild a following on someone else’s platform, he’s already got the benefit of a network of 3,689,638 email subscribers not to mention the thousands more who visit his site regularly or subscribe via RSS. I suspect that those subscribers, who have taken more time and effort to subscribe to his website than they did on any other platform, are likely a much better audience and are far more engaged.
So my short memo to Wil: Quit searching for an alternate when you’ve already got one that obviously seems like a much healthier and happier space.
If you feel like you’re missing some of the other small niceties of other social networks, I’ll happily and freely help you: set up some Micropub apps to make posting to your site easier; add Webmention support so others would need to post to their own websites to @mention you across the web from their service of choice; add a social media-esque Follow buttton; set up Microsub service so you can read what you choose on the web and like/favorite, reply to, bookmark, etc. to your site and send the commentary back to them. Of course anyone can do this on their own with some details and help from the IndieWeb.org community if they wish…
When confronted with white supremacists, newspaper editors should consider ‘strategic silence’