Gab, one of the few censorship-free alternatives to Big Tech platforms, could be banned in Germany because of the government’s insistence that it should censor its users, and therefore undermine the point of the product.
Germany was one of the first governments to pressure tech platforms to censor content and, as a country, famously has a poor history of free speech.
In a post on the platform, Gab’s founder Andrew Torba explained that the platform was facing threats of fines and legal action because of its refusal to censor users. The post claimed that the platform was left with three options: comply with the government’s rules, refuse to comply and enter into a costly war with the German government, or block the site to German IP addresses.
“Recently the German government has been coming at Gab hard to try and force us to comply with their draconian online censorship laws,” Torba wrote in the post.
“We have obviously refused to do so and now they are coming after us with fines of tens of thousands of dollars and other legal action. Our lawyers informed us that we have three options:
“1) Obey German censorship laws and start censoring content that the German Govt doesn’t like (not going to happen)
“2) Disobey German censorship laws and pick a fight with the nation-state of Germany (I wouldn’t ever be able to leave the US again, they would come at us from every possible angle through state-sponsored deplatforming, and Lord knows what else.)
“3) Cease providing this service in Germany by blocking German IPs.
“So obviously a very difficult decision, but one that must be made very soon. I wanted to share with you all to be fully transparent with what is going on.”