Texas Governor Greg Abbott accused free speech social media platform Gab of being an “anti-Semitic platform.” Gab hit back by saying it is a platform that protects “the political speech of all Americans, regardless of viewpoint.”
“Anti-Semitic platforms like Gab have no place in Texas and certainly do not represent Texas values,” Abbott said in a video posted on Twitter.
“What does represent Texas values is legislation like this by Rep. King and Rep. Goldman that fights antisemitism in Texas,” the governor added.
Anti-Semitic platforms do not represent Texas values.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 11, 2021
State Reps. Goldman and King did introduce a bill mentioning the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Advisory Committee. However, the bill neither mentions anti-Semitism or Gab.
Gab hit back at the governor by directly replying to his tweet.
“Gab is not an ‘anti-semitic’ platform. We protect the political speech of all Americans, regardless of viewpoint, because in this age of cancel culture nobody else will,” Gab responded. “That means unpopular viewpoints may be found on the site.”
Andrew Toba, Gab’s CEO, further attacked the governor in a statement posted on his Gab account.
“There are many Jewish Gab users and customers, whose lawful speech we protect with just as much zeal as we would protect the lawful speech of any person of any faith, ethnicity, or creed,” he wrote.
“This is what America used to be like: a place where The People could speak freely regardless of their faith, ethnic background, or beliefs. This is the America Gab is fighting to preserve. Apparently, Gov. Abbott doesn’t agree,” he added.
Torba’s statement also accused Abbott of double standards. The governor just announced a legislation that would make it illegal for social media platforms to censor free speech in Texas. Yet, he is now attacking a platform that protects free speech.
“The enemies of freedom smear us with every name in the book because they hate America and they hate free speech. It’s a shame to see a GOP politician fall for this trap when conservative values are under sustained attack all over the country,” Torba said.
“People smear Gab for the kinds of people we host. They never smear Gab for the kinds of people we ban. That’s because we don’t have political tests for our users. Ban decisions are made on an individual basis. Our test for political speech is whether it is legal or not. Pretty simple rule.”