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

Greta Jasser, Jordan McSwiney, Ed Pertwee, Savvas Zannettou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1728-1745
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume25
Issue number7
Early online date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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