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Sat Mar 13, 2021, 07:09 PM

Social network Gab fuels latest conflict among Texas Republicans

by Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

A fight has broken out among Texas Republicans over Gab, the embattled social network favored by the far right.

The state GOP made clear Thursday it would not delete its Gab account after vice chair Cat Parks called on it to do so two days earlier and got backup from Gov. Greg Abbott, who said "anti-Semitic platforms like Gab have no place in Texas." That sparked fierce criticism from the company and new questions from some fellow Republicans about Abbott's own commitment to fighting perceived censorship by social media giants.

The party has had a Gab account since at least January, when GOP discussion over social media policy was at a fever pitch in the wake of Twitter's decision to ban outgoing President Donald Trump after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.

Gab promotes itself as a "free speech" alternative to social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. It has become a haven for neo-Nazis and other extremists, though, and it got national attention in 2018 when the man who fatally shot 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue had posted anti-Semitic messages on the site beforehand. The company itself has a history of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2021/03/11/texas-republicans-social-media/

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