‘Welcome to #GabFam’: Far-right virtual community on Gab

With large social media platforms coming under increasing pressure to deplatform far-right users, the Alternative Technology movement (Alt-Tech) emerged as a new digital support infrastructure for the far right. We conduct a qualitative analysis of the prominent Alt-Tech platform Gab, a social networking service primarily modelled on Twitter, to assess the far-right virtual community on the platform. We find Gab’s technological affordances – including its lack of content moderation, culture of anonymity, microblogging architecture and funding model – have fostered an ideologically eclectic far-right community united by fears of persecution at the hands of ‘Big Tech’. We argue that this points to the emergence of a novel techno-social victimology as an axis of far-right virtual community, wherein shared experiences or fears of being deplatformed facilitate a coalescing of assorted far-right tendencies online.

Tags: Extreme Right, Gab, Social Media