Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, somewhat out of the blue on Wednesday, laid fire down on alternative social media service Gab, calling it an “Anti-Semitic platform” that does not “represent Texas values.” But his own state party is a big, if recent, Gab user. The clip of Gov. Abbott slapping down Gab hit Twitter by Abbott’s own hand on Wednesday, catching both left and right commenters a bit off-guard, having seemingly no particular prompting.
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As I’ve reported, Gab has positioned itself as the Christian alternative to Twitter, with its CEO declaring that he won’t do any interviews with “pagan media.” Here’s his response:
Tonight Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a “Republican,” issued a despicable and false statement smearing Gab as an “anti-semitic platform that quote “has no place in Texas.” This is the same Gov. Abbott who just five days ago said he was “taking a stand against Big Tech censorship.”
Gov. Abbott’s statement will likely not sit well with the nearly 800,000 Texans who have visited Gab.com in the past 24 hours alone. What is even more strange is that the Texas GOP itself is on Gab with a verified account.
Gab is not an “anti-semitic” platform. We protect the political speech of all Americans, regardless of viewpoint, because in this age of cancel culture nobody else will. That means unpopular viewpoints may be found on the site.
The enemies of freedom smear us with every name in the book because they hate America and they hate free speech. It’s a shame to see a GOP politician fall for this trap when conservative values are under sustained attack all over the country.
Anti-Semitic platforms do not represent Texas values.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 11, 2021
But also, it’s not clear what this is about! I don’t see any local reporting on it. Neither the governor nor the lawmakers with him appear to have put out press releases or statements on the matter. But the small social media company and a lot of right-wingers are very upset.
— Nick Martin (@nickmartin) March 11, 2021