Free speech software company Gab has announced that it has been blacklisted by Visa for “promoting hate speech.”
“Gab does no such thing,” its CEO Andrew Torba responded. “This is like saying Google ‘promotes hate speech’ because you can search racial slurs on their search engine and get results. Gab is a neutral technology platform. We follow the law, have an excellent relationship with law enforcement, and have a clear set of community guidelines that detail what is allowed on our website and what is not.”
Gab added that it had been abruptly banned by two separate underwriting banks in June without cause for “risk related reasons” and noted that it has been under attack at the payment processing level all month long.
“These banks have no problem processing payments for pornography websites which are loaded with child exploitation, human trafficking, and more,” wrote Torba. “They have no problem processing payments for cannabis, which is still illegal at the federal level. They have no problems processing payments for gambling websites.”
Gab has lost its ability to process credit cards and can now only accept payments via Bitcoin, echeck, and check by mail.
Last year, Apple admitted that Gab’s Dissenter iOS app, a mobile version of Gab’s dissenter browser, didn’t violate any of the App Store’s terms but rejected it anyway on the grounds that Gab’s other products outside of the App Store contained “defamatory and mean-spirited content.”
Google also booted the Gab app from its Google Play Store last year because it contained “objectionable user-generated content.”
Gab’s Dissenter comments extension was also banned by both the Google Chrome Web Store and Firefox extensions gallery within 24 hours of each other over user-generated content.
These companies collectively act as major gatekeepers to consumers’ desktop and mobile devices with Chrome and Firefox having a 77% desktop web browser market share, Apple’s App Store being the only way to install apps on an iPhone, and Google’s Play store being the main way consumers install apps on Android phones.
Gab’s announcement follows several other companies and creators having their ability to earn revenue threatened or stripped over the last couple of months.
Last week, popular independent news outlet Zero Hedge was banned from Google’s Ads program over its comments section and earlier this week, the site announced that it had also been banned from PayPal.
Another popular independent news outlet, The Federalist, was also threatened with being booted from Google Ads because of its comments section and ultimately removed the comments section to ensure that it could remain in Google’s ad program.
And author and public speaker David Icke also said that he had been booted from payments service PayPal last month – a service that he was using to accept donations.
In addition to the financial blacklisting, Gab has been banned from many major tech platforms and services because of its pro free speech stance.