May 16, 2022
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Microsoft Threatens To Pull Gab Services Over Anti-Semitic Posts

Microsoft Azure on Thursday told Gab, a social network popular with conservatives and the alt-right, that it had 48 hours to ‘take appropriate action’ on two posts, according Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba.

‘Gab’s hosting provider, Microsoft Azure, has given us 48 hours to take action on two posts, or they will pull our service and Gab will go down for weeks/months,’ Torba wrote in a post on Gab, which included screenshots from a message sent by Microsoft. 

In the message, Microsoft pointed to two posts from Senate candidate Patrick Little, who was kicked out of the GOP convention in May for anti-Semitic and white supremacist views. Little also conveys anti-Semitic views in the posts, which at the time of publication are still up. They were posted more than three weeks ago. 

Gab, which launched in 2016 as an alternative to Twitter, calls itself ‘a social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online.’ It doesn’t have many restrictions on what users can post, and its mascot is a green frog mascot reminiscent of the Pepe cartoon character that’s been co-opted as a hate symbol. Gab says it has a community of more than 215,000 people.

Microsoft’s move comes as tech giants grapple with their stances on free speech. After weeks of mounting pressure, companies like Facebook, Apple, YouTube and Spotify have banned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars publication, citing violations of their community policies. Twitter hasn’t followed suit, with CEO Jack Dorsey saying Jones hasn’t crossed the line on the platform

Microsoft and Gab didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Paul Stuart