In response to Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter, right-wing social media site Gab has made a counterproposal — if you want to protect free speech, invest in Gab instead.
Gab CEO Andrew Torba suggested that the world’s richest person forego his “expensive and overpriced Twitter deal” and instead invest $2 billion in Gab in exchange for a seat on the company’s board of directors and an unspecified amount of equity.
Together we can build infrastructure for a free speech internet. I am willing to offer you a Board seat along with equity in the company in exchange for you selling your Twitter position and investing $2B into Gab. My offer is my best and final offer.— Torba wrote in an open letter to Musk
In an accompanying statement, Torba claimed that if Musk is interested in defending free speech, Gab is in a better position to do so than Twitter because it is not reliant on “third-party infrastructure.”
For example, he claims that because the blue app is available in the Apple and Google app stores, it must adhere to their policies, whereas Gab can be downloaded from a browser. (Gab has been banned from Apple and Google app stores for quite some time now.)
“There is the problem of Twitter’s community itself,” Torba added.
It skews massively left and thus anti-free speech. If you allow free speech on Twitter again, those people are absolutely going to leave because their fragile worldview can’t handle the reality that free speech brings.— Andrew Torba
Musk made a $43 billion offer to buy social media platorm on Thursday. Musk stated in the offer letter: “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential,” he added. “I will unlock it.”
Torba quoted Musk throughout his offer letter, writing, “Gab has extraordinary potential. Let’s unlock it together.”
Gab was established in 2016 and bills itself as a free-speech platform that does not moderate content in the same way that most mainstream social media platforms do.
It rose to prominence in 2018 when the shooter at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue posted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the site prior to carrying out the attack.
Gab regained popularity in 2021, when conservatives flocked to the site following former President Donald Trump’s Twitter ban.