‘Biblical Family Values’ Champion Funded Social Media Platform Favored by White Nationalists, Pittsburgh Shooter

North Carolina State Sen. Dan Bishop (Image from Bishop's campaign website)

Gab, the social media platform favored by white nationalist and anti-Semitic far-right activists—like the man charged with killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday—was funded in part by North Carolina Republican state senator Dan Bishop, the U.K.’s Daily Mail is reporting. The story says Bishop is “one of the only known investors” in Gab, because the site “used anonymous crowd-sourcing techniques to raise investment cash.”

The Daily Mail cites an August 2017 Facebook post in which Bishop said that he was backing Gab as a response to the “thought police tech giants’ Big Brother routine,” an apparent reference to right-wing complaints that large social media platforms have engaged in “censorship” of conservative views. Gab has defiantly welcomed neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists and others kicked off larger social media platforms for promoting hatred. The Gab bio of Robert Bowers, charged in the synagogue killings, called Jews “the children of satan.”

Bishop was the lead author of North Carolina’s controversial anti-LGBT law HB2, Towleroad reported in 2016. Emails obtained that year by the Charlotte Business Journal revealed Bishop comparing LGBTQ activists to the Taliban and saying that the LGBTQ movement “jeopardizes freedom.”

Thanks to his anti-LGBTQ efforts, Bishop is a favorite of Religious Right groups. In 2017 the North Carolina Family Policy Council presented him with its “Life & Liberty Award.” Bishop, the group said, stands “unwaveringly” for “the inherent dignity of every individual.” That same year, Concerned Women for America’s North Carolina chapter honored him as “Outstanding Legislator in Defense of Family Values.” The state director for CWA praised his “unwavering commitment to Biblical family values.”

Bishop is complaining that he’s being “smeared” by news coverage of his support for Gab, saying he only gave $500 as part of the crowdfunding effort for the platform. But a local Democratic official isn’t having it:

“No modern politician in North Carolina has done more to promote hate and discrimination than Dan Bishop,” said Kimberly Reynolds, executive director of the state Democratic Party. “From funding a hate-speech fueled social media platform riddled with anti-Semitic and white nationalist content to legislating discrimination, Bishop continues to embarrass our state.”