Gab, a Twitter knock-off social media platform overrun with unhinged conspiracy theorists, spam and white supremacists, has been notified that it will lose its current payment processing platform if it does not clean up its website.
According to screenshots of emails that Gab CEO Andrew Torba shared online, online payment processing service Stripe has given his website until October 19 to remove “adult or illegal content” from its website if it would like to continue having its financial support processed by the company. Last month, Torba claimed, PayPal “threatened to halt our service” because the site hosted death threats to the company’s CEO.
BREAKING: @stripe has frozen https://t.co/J3RftnOEqv‘s account and given us until Oct 19th to remove any and all legal adult content from the site (which they know is impossible.) We’ve had this content and a NSFW setting for two years with no issues from them until now. pic.twitter.com/rZAzL3eNEl
— Gab (@getongab) October 3, 2018
In subsequent tweets, Torba frames Stripe’s request as if it relates to pornography. But the request could also refer to the ISIS propaganda videos that feature beheadings and other violence, as well as posts encouraging the murdering of journalists and members of ethnic minorities, all set into feeds peppered with swastikas and demands for a new genocide.
In August, Right Wing Watch and ThinkProgress collaborated on a report outlining the ways that payment processing services—including Stripe—facilitate well-known purveyors of hate online. One of those sources we identified in our report was Gab, noting:
The site Gab.ai , a “free speech” social media platform that quickly became a haven for white supremacists who have been banned from more conventional sites like Twitter, also runs its premium account payments through Stripe. Members of Gab Pro can use Stripe processing to profit from the website by offering subscriptions to paywalled content. Indicated by their blue check marks on the site, Gab Pro members are neo-Nazis Andrew Anglin of The Daily Stormer, failed Senate candidate Patrick Little and “Crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell, just to name a few.
Before publication of our article in August, Stripe had not responded to our requests for comment.