Talk:Gab (social network)

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Proposed changes to lede[edit]

I propose changing the lede to say:

Gab is an American microblogging Internet service, known for its mainly far-right user base and for promoting itself as a vehicle for "free speech".[a][11] The site has been described by media outlets as "extremist friendly"[12] or a "safe haven"[13] for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right,[12] while the site has described itself as "an ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online."[14] The site allows its users to read and write multimedia messages of up to 3,000 characters, called "gabs".[15] It has stated that conservative, libertarian, nationalist and populist internet users were its target markets.[16]

Gab's self-promotion of "free speech" has been criticized by scholars as "merely a shield behind which its alt-right users hide"[10] and "an echo chamber for right-leaning content dissemination".[17]

Gab is just as well known for being a vehicle for "free speech" as it is a site with a mainly "far-right" user base. Them being pro-free speech is mentioned in the titles of 4 media outlet articles[1][2][3][4] as well as in the title of a scholarly article[5], which are all sourced in the Wikipedia article. Most of the sources in the Wikipedia article also mention their free speech stance, even if the writers of the articles disagree with their stance or think their stance is "less a principle than a smokescreen."

Most of the sources in the article as well as the ones sourced in the lede, are media outlets saying it is "extremist friendly" or a "safe haven" for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right, while gab itself says it is "an ad-free social network for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online." This gives the reader two different perspectives on Gab (one from external sources and one from Gab itself) and lets the reader make up their mind on which one they think most accurately describes Gab, kind of like how the Alex Jones article describes two different perspectives on his political views (one from Alex Jones himself and one from external sources). However, I think it would be better if Gab's perspective was backed up by external sources such as these ones[6][7] rather than their StartEngine page[8], which is a primary source. X-Editor (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

Disagree, not enough prominence in reliable sources to warrant this in lede. PeterTheFourth (talk) 22:59, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Would you mind elaborating further on the part about reliable sources? X-Editor (talk) 00:04, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Sure. By my estimation most sources covering Gab will talk about its far-right antisemitic userbase rather than the free speech claims they make. Per WP:DUE, we should focus on what reliable sources talk about most. PeterTheFourth (talk) 23:06, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
By my estimation most sources covering Gab will talk about both. Alex.osheter (talk) 09:54, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
You've constructed it as either/or. "Either it's anti-semitic, or it's free speech, and since it's anti-semitic, it can't be free speech." It can be both. There can be mention that there actually is a legitimate free speech component to Gab, despite the fact that it's "known for...", etc... IMO.Tym Whittier (talk) 04:41, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Seconding Peter here. This would mean we validate dogwhistling advertisements as in equal prominence as our reliable sources, when the latter doesn't quite reflect it. Sources that raise the "free speech" tagline are, demonstrably, did not cover the subject in much depth. We already link to their homepage. Pasting their taglines here would not be appropriate. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 23:51, 8 May 2019 (UTC)
Also agreed with PeterTheFourth and Tsumikiria. The sources that do use the "free speech" descriptor often do so in direct reference to how Gab describes itself, not as an outside observation of the site. Oppose this change. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:14, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
No and he's doing what looks like "bad faith" editing by attempting to shoehorn use of the word "microblogging service" by including it in with a bunch of other stuff, when I've already given a list of reasons why 1) that's not accurate 2) he probably knew it 3) he did it anyways 4) without discussion 5) there's ZERO RS for it 6) "Because it says so in other Wikipedia Articles is WRONG and 7) He knows that too, etc... I could go on, but I'd really rather focus on the Article. The New Guy shouldn't have to quote Wikipedia Policy to people who know better. Leadership is by example.Tym Whittier (talk) 04:36, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
@Tym Whittier: The fact that you're acting increasingly rude towards me despite the fact that I admitted to making a terrible mistake just shows that you are acting in bad faith. X-Editor (talk) 02:21, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
@Tym Whittier: I could be mistaken, but given that X-Editor agreed with your suggestion above to change the terminology back to "social media website" and given that they didn't bold it as a change in this suggested paragraph, I think it may have been a copy-and-paste error and that is not a part of the changes they're suggesting. Please try to assume a little more good faith here. GorillaWarfare (talk) 04:42, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
You're right, I'll back down. This is why I walk away from this Article for weeks at a time. Tym Whittier (talk) 04:53, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Agree with User talk:X-Editor. Deet (talk) 22:13, 12 May 2019 (UTC)

Is There Any Legitimacy to Gab's "Free Speech" Claim?[edit]

I think answering this question may serve to provide a more-solid foundation for future editing decisions and actions. Last night I did some research looking for any RS that supports the idea that Gab's (and it's Users) claim that there is some legitimate claim that Gab is about free speech (without scare quotes), and could not find any. But that may also be a reflection on my inadequate skills as a researcher. This Article, in it's current form, is consistent with all of the RS that I've found, which says it's not. The "free speech" claim is a "shield", or a pretext etc... to anti-semitism, racism, (ad nauseum list of pejoratives). The primary "nub" of the issue, IMO, is whether or not "hate speech" as a recently manufactured concept is still free speech. If the Editor's consensus is "No", that will go a long way towards resolving any desire on the part of minority/IP Editors to attempt to influence the Article to include that perspective. Achieving explicitly-stated consensus on this will also provide an easy and convenient way of addressing IP Editor's concerns when they have problems reconciling their own "personal perception" of Gab to the manner in which is is characterized in this Article.Tym Whittier (talk) 13:47, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

"Last night I did some research looking for any RS that supports the idea that Gab's (and it's Users) claim that there is some legitimate claim that Gab is about free speech (without scare quotes), and could not find any." I believe you answered your own question and this section can be closed.--Jorm (talk) 13:49, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I think you are missing my point. I'm looking for explicit consensus that can be referred to later. This is the second time you seem to want to avoid a discussion to achieve consensus on a critical point.Tym Whittier (talk) 14:03, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
We already had consensus. You don't have to beat dead horses. This is your problem in a nutshell. You waste everyone's time with shit like this and you know it. There's no discussion to be had because this is what the reliable sources say. This is how Wikipedia works. We were done with it a long time ago.--Jorm (talk) 14:09, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
@Jorm: Your post above responding to Tym Whittier is very likely violating Section 1A, Section 1C, and Section 1D of WP:CIVIL. Section 1A says that you shouldn't exhibit "rudeness, insults, name-calling, gross profanity or indecent suggestions" towards other editors, Section 1C says that you shouldn't exhibit "ill-considered accusations of impropriety" towards other editors, and Section 1D says that you shouldn't exhibit "belittling a fellow editor, including the use of judgemental edit summaries or talk-page posts (e.g. "that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen", "snipped crap")" towards other editors, and judging by your post above, you seem to be doing that by saying to Tym that "This is your problem in a nutshell. You waste everyone's time with shit like this and you know it." You also said in a previous discussion that his opinion on CNN's credibility, particularly their credibility when it comes to covering Gab, "doesn't mean shit." You also seem to be assuming bad faith towards Tym by saying that he knows he's wasting people's time with discussions on this talk page in your post above, yet you have provided no concrete evidence that this is the case. X-Editor (talk) 02:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Please demonstrate in the Discussion History where consensus on this question was explicitly established. I've looked, and could not find it. Tym Whittier (talk) 18:02, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
  • 1)The sheer amount of text walls Tym Whittier posted onto this page - most of which aren't constructive content discussions but rather loaded questions that resemble breach experiments - fulfills a hallmark of sealioning and lobbying. 2) In most developed countries, speech that advocate for discriminatory violence and genocide - such as content hosted by Gab - are indictable crimes. Even if Gab's policy truly resemble the First Amendment as it is advertised, America's stance on hate speech situation is rather unusual and has been routinely criticized. This is why we can't speak in objective wikivoice that Gab is free speech, because in most countries, that would be laughable. This thread can be closed. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 00:24, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

"Scholars" = Invisible People in Ivory Towers[edit]

Gab promotes itself as a vehicle for "free speech"; this self-promotion has been criticized by scholars as "merely a shield behind which its alt-right users hide" and "an echo chamber for right-leaning content dissemination I don't mind the assertion that single, or multiple academics may have at some time characterized Gab this way; but I think that for this to be included in the Lede requires more detail, meaning the actual name of some noteworthy scholar. Leaving the "scholars" unnamed creates the impression that 1) there is a unified front of "scholars", which I doubt (although it's possible given that in today's current political climate a scholar that might support Gab could lose their job), but also two, it requires a certain amount of faith that this group of scholars were not cherry-picked by a journalist (or NGO, or whoever) with a story (or narrative) to write, and an agenda. I just think there should be some names. Or, as an alternative, the Article could make the general statement in the Lede, and then reconnect to the idea further down the Article with a section titled something like "Reaction to Gab by Scholars" where more detailed information on who they are, and what they said could be made. As it stands right now, it's an ambiguous assertion that means little and has no support in the body of the Article. The Lede is supposed to be a summarization of the whole Article, so this ambiguous, unsupported and free-standing assertion diminishes, rather than improves, the Article.Tym Whittier (talk) 14:00, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

  • The scholarship, in the form of at least two peer reviewed papers, is literally referenced in the sentence you're quoting. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the reference and the footnote comes up (at least on desktop) allowing you to see the list of authors and has a link to the scholarship. SportingFlyer T·C 14:09, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I'd seen this study before, have some initial concerns about it, and need some time to think they through before posting them here. Please keep this section "unarchived" until I'm able to post those concerns and initiate a discussion.Tym Whittier (talk) 14:10, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
The bot auto-archives talk page sections after a period of time elapses and if there are subsequent discussions on the page, but feel free to pull it back out from the archives and onto the talk page again if that happens. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:35, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks I did not know you could do that (without getting into trouble). There's been some good stuff get archived prematurely IMO, and I didn't know this option existed. Sometimes I think the Discussion Pages are more important in terms of providing information (or at least questions) to the Reader than the Articles themselves.Tym Whittier (talk) 18:22, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Well, it should generally be avoided, but if you're going to need a while you can do it. The bot only archives discussions after they've been dormant for ten days, so typically the best thing to do is let them stay in the archive and just provide a link to the archived discussion when you restart an old conversation. I suspect if you try to unarchive old discussions without adding to them much, or just to keep them on the talk page for no other purpose than to have them remain here, you will be reverted. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:06, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I want to let the current dispute on the Lede on Dissident being banned run it's course before loading up the cannon on these scholars.Tym Whittier (talk) 04:37, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Edited Lede to rephrase banning of dissenter language and added balancing comment from Founder Torba[edit]

In April 2019 Dissenter was removed from the Firefox Add-ons website and the Chrome Web Store for what a Mozilla spokesperson said was a violation of their rules against hate speech. Gab founder Andrew Torba said in a statement that Dissenter had been blocked by tech companies that “want to destroy free expression online.”

The original was paraphrased and made more general ("policies"), while the Mozilla spokesman's comment was explicitly detailed, and therefore better. I found nothing from Chrome in the source, and so let Mozilla do the talking. Also for balance I included a quote ("destroy", etc...) from Torba from the same source. "Being bold", "good faith", etc... and prepared for the fallout. Bring it, lol...Tym Whittier (talk) 18:43, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

I have undone your change. You change introduces weasel words to soften the statement.--Jorm (talk) 18:50, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Jorm's action. "for what a Mozilla spokesperson said was a violation of their rules against hate speech" seems to imply that it was not a violation, but the spokesperson just said it was, which is not supported by any independent sourcing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:08, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
You both seem to be missing: 1) two points on the issue of the "claim" aspect, and 2) another is that neither of you mentioned including Torba's response for balance. Point #1 is that the original text is not backed up by the source, leading the Reader to believe that both "Big Tech" companies said it, or the Journalist said it. Neither of them actually said it. My quoted text is what was said, and my edit clarified this, to the benefit of the Reader. The Article was improved. Also to the point of "weasel words", my language is explicitly sourced, vs. the original which was a synthetic and more-ambiguous paraphrase, so to the issue of "weasel" ("some tech companies said something"), the original is more weasel-y and my text is less, by providing more details and verifiable facts. The added kicker regarding a "claim vs actual" violations of terms of service, well we've been down a very long road on this with regard to Gab's "claims" of being free speech vs. whether or not it actually is, and the current consensus has been, and continues to be, that Gab only claims things, while the big tech companies that are in opposition to Gab always report what is actually happening. But an invitation to a discussion where this can be explicitly stated is ignored (see above). Big Tech's claims are always an actual description of what took place, and Gab never does anything but make claims. The Gab community is very large (tens of thousands), which implies that they must be quite delusional to continue to participate in a social media platform that does anything other than what is merely "claimed", while hiding their true nefarious purpose by using their claim of free speech as a metaphoric "shield". Meaning, if we were talking about a handful (5. 50, maybe.) of fringe nutjobs, we could stay consistent with "claim" for everything that Gab says, but we're talking about tens of thousands of people. There's SOMETHING legitimate here; tens of thousands of people demonstrate this every day, with their time investment, their donations as members, and their donations directly to the project, which is on the order of a million dollars. My point is that at some point even a fringe organization reaches a point where some credibility must be afforded by Wikipedia in order to maintain neutrality, and Gab has crossed that point, IMO. But my change had nothing to do with this. That's just simply true. The quote is an explicit copy and paste of what was published by RS, and my arguments regarding "what the Reader might interpret" with regard to word choice, quotes, etc... (such as "prominent") seem to get shot down regularly and consistently. So on this specific question of interpretation (direct quote vs. scare quotes) the consensus here seems to be part of a consistently selective pattern. They're called "scare quotes" if it serves one purpose, and they are direct quotes if it serves another, and there are no quotes (meaning it just IS, with wikipedia's voice), if it serves yet another purpose, and the choice in making an interpretation seems to be based on something other than balance. I leave what that might be to the imagination. To point #2, the fact that Torba's quote was left off when the addition was made, seems unbalanced and biased at the outset. Whoever dropped that quote saw Torba's response in the exact same RS, and chose to not include it for balance. It seems to me that in any other Article, being written by any other group of Editors, this balancing quote would be mandatory and expected. Not here, it seems. Here, the whole edit was reverted, and no discussion to my 2nd point, which is that Torba's response affords a minimum, and necessary level of balance, particularly when you consider that when previous consensus merged Gab and Dissenter together, it limited how much information about Dissenter can be included (given that it must share the same Article space with Gab). This concern was raised in the discussion on merge, and as predicted, here it is. Given that's in the Lede, the need for balance is even more important, since many Readers (particularly those that know more about Gab than the Editors writing the Article, and the Journalists writing the reliable sources) may lose interest and stop reading, which is in direct contradiction of the idea of maintaining Reader interest, unless the consensus is that a Reader's interest is maintained, by casting Gab in as negative light as possible, and selectively interpreting and enforcing standards to achieve this objective. Most Readers I know want to know about both sides of any given controversy. Okay that's what I've got. FIRE!Tym Whittier (talk) 04:33, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
There is no universe in which I am reading that ranting wall of text.--Jorm (talk) 05:34, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
It's all summed-up in the first sentence. Here, let me post it just the first sentence, to make it easier for you to read:
"You both seem to be missing: 1) two points on the issue of the "claim" aspect, and 2) another is that neither of you mentioned including Torba's response for balance."Tym Whittier (talk) 00:57, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
At 792 words, this personal essay is better off sent to the journalists who wrote the cited articles or posted on Dissenter itself rather than on Wikipedia, for which we'd require requisitioning the Summit for this thread to continue. Under no circumstance would this idiosyncratic and bizarre personal soapboxing be displayed alongside our peer-reviewed papers and other reliable sources. You must quit this soapboxing, for you may have crossed the threshold long ago. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 05:47, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Is complaining, invective and/or pejorative considered a constructive response to a content concern?Tym Whittier (talk) 00:57, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Far-right microblogging Internet service is inaccurate.[edit]

There is no source that defines Gab as a far-right microblogging service. This is an unsourced claim. Widely popular among the far-right? Sure. But it's not a far-right social network. I've scanned the article for it, and this description is nowhere to be found.

  • Gab is a new social network built like a hybrid of Twitter and Reddit -- NYTimes
  • Gab is officially politically neutral and relatively close to the mainstream online ecosystem. -- The Verge
  • [Gab is] a brand-new social media platform -- Wired
  •, a 7-month-old social network -- Mic
  • Upstart social network -- Buzzfeed News
  • the freewheeling social media platform that has become an online hub for racists, anti-Semites and white nationalists. -- The Washington Post
  • the Twitter-like social network -- Gizmodo

I'm also pinging @Tsumikiria:, who offered far-right "based on sources". Care to weigh in? Alex.osheter (talk) 07:53, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

I don't understand why you started this separate section when 1) there is already a discussion section focusing on the use of the term "microblogging", 2) the Article already shows "social media" since I reverted it back, and 3) Unless you are challenging both "far-right" and "microblogging". If you are not challenging microblogging, I think it would be a good idea that you say so explicitly to avoid confusion and the possibility of it getting shoe-horned back in.Tym Whittier (talk) 19:20, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Cherrypicking parts of the sources that don't include "far-right" is not going to work here, sorry. Feel free to peruse the past discussions that have reached the consensus that "far-right" should be included—unless a whole wave of sources describing Gab as something else have appeared and I completely missed it, it's not going to change. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:18, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Can you link the sources that do include "far-right"? Alex.osheter (talk) 08:13, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Do your own homework. Stop wasting other peoples' time.--Jorm (talk) 16:00, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I did, and presented my findings from the sources in the article. Your comment is neither constructive, nor necessary. Alex.osheter (talk) 18:32, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Feel free to go through the sources in the article or the conversations in the previous (now-archived) sections about this. The hypothetical wave of sources that describe Gab as something other than far-right do not exist, and so I am not willing to rehash this old, tired argument. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:11, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
That's what I did though. I went through the sources in the article and couldn't find what led to the concensus. I read the archived sections, and the sources used. It's not there, I can't find it. Alex.osheter (talk) 03:50, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
It took me ten seconds to find this talk page discussion in the archives. Spend a little more time and I'm sure you'll find others. GorillaWarfare (talk) 16:14, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It seems that there's only one source that actually called it a "Far-Right Web Platform". If you want to stick to that source, you can change the whole sentence to "far right web platform". But you can't selectively pick and choose quotes to form a sentence. In general, it's best to stick to a concensus. Most sources, even the ones in your link describe it as a social network, but only one describes it as far right. You can call it 'alt-right', but again, there are only two sources that call it that. There are however, more sources than I can count that refer to it as a social network, and that seems to be a concensus. Alex.osheter (talk) 17:28, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
The alt-right is part of the far-right. I already changed the short description to describe Gab as a "social media website"—that was already resolved in a past discussion and it seems the short description was simply missed when making the change.
Are you trying to claim that we cannot describe Gab both as "far-right" and as a "social network" because one source says it's a "far right web platform"? Wikipedia articles are not written as a collection of direct quotes, and "social network" and "web platform" are not mutually exclusive terms. GorillaWarfare (talk) 17:31, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It's actually the opposite of what I'm claiming. If you're going to call it far-right, and base your entire intro on that one article - might as well quote it in full. But of course we won't do that. In cases where you have 5-6 sources calling it a social media platform / social network and only one calling it a "far right web platform", I think it's best to stick to the concensus in the sources. Alex.osheter (talk) 17:42, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
That is not how sourcing works on Wikipedia. I'd be willing to match the short description to the current lead, though, if that's what you're after: "social media website known for its mainly far-right user base". GorillaWarfare (talk) 19:19, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
It's exactly how sourcing works on Wikipedia. By focusing on one article instead of the 5 others (perhaps even more), you're giving undue weight to that one article. The source is reliable, but it holds a minority definition of the subject (it's the only one that defines it as such). Alex.osheter (talk) 19:57, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
You should take your concerns to the Reliable Sources Noticeboard. You don't know what "undue weight" is, and you're trying to wikilawyer your bad ideas into being in the article. They will not be. You don't seem to grasp the inevitability of your failure. --Jorm (talk) 20:00, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Truth of the matter is only one source defines it as far-right. Period. That's a statement of fact. You can put words in my mouth, and assume stuff about me but I've reviewed every link that has been shared on the topic, and I've read the concensus discussion. Your hostility doesn't change that fact and is unwarranted. If you have nothing productive to say, don't comment. Alex.osheter (talk) 20:15, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
At this point I can't tell what you're arguing against. I've offered to change the short description to "social media website known for its mainly far-right user base", does that not address your concerns? Or are you objecting to the inclusion of the term "far-right" in any form?? GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:19, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
No no, not at all. I was arguing the sourcing. Your newest edit "Gab is an English-language social media website known for its mainly far-right user base" is perfect IMO. Changing the short description to match the lead would be good idea as well. I still wish the NPR source wasn't there, because as stated in another section, it's basing its assumption on NYTimes. But it's a fair compromise. Thank you! @GorillaWarfare: Alex.osheter (talk) 20:31, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Wait, what were you arguing against before?? I have no idea what your concern was, if that edit (swapping the place of "mainly") resolved it. GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:44, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Goddammit. I'm too tired. @GorillaWarfare:, I owe you an apology. In the two sections we were discussing, I've had two main issues - One regarding circular sourcing, and one regarding phrasing in the short description. This one is about the short description, and your suggestion to make it similar to the lead would resolve this issue. I'm terribly sorry for wasting your time, and I should probably go get some sleep. Please change the short description per your offer so archive this section. Alex.osheter (talk) 21:05, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Okay... I'm still a little confused about what we were apparently discussing and not discussing, but I've made the change and am glad we came to an agreement. GorillaWarfare (talk) 21:12, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't know, perhaps I should try to work on getting my point across better. The discussion got sidetracked, but my initial complaint was that there were no sources which warrant labeling it a far-right microblogging service, because I couldn't find enough sources that define it as such (far-right implies it's for far-right users, and microblogging is mentioned nowhere). My suggestion was switching to a more agreeable definition that is shared by most reliable sources (they all list is as a social network/platform or a variation thereof, with each adding "BUT..(far-right/extremist/white nationalist/etc)"). Although there aren't plenty of sources that say its userbase is "mainly" far right (in fact, there's a scholarly source that directly analyzed the userbase and came to a similar, but slightly different conclusion - mostly conservative and male), it's technically a more correct definition because it is supported by sources. Accuracy matters. Alex.osheter (talk) 21:32, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
So, at the end of the day Alex, what's your point? What's your thesis here? Are you still advocating change, and if so to what? I agree with a lot of what you say (process, background, etc..), but not necessarily your conclusion. I'm comfortable with "known for it's far-right users" because that's an open acknowledgement that what RS (aka "mass media") reports may be different than what the general public, or Gab's Users think. And it's a fair statement. What something is, and what it's "known for" can be two radically different things. If you are good with "known for far-right", we can hopefully archive this section and clean the place up a bit. There are other worlds than this.Tym Whittier (talk) 03:05, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
I believe Alex has already said they're happy with this section being archived. I was just going to leave it for the bot to tidy up when the time elapses. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:41, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Requesting review of some sources[edit]

This article seems to be suffering from Circular reporting and overall bad sourcing. There are several sources in this article that quote each other, these sources should be considered as one source.

Let's examine the very first line of the article: Gab is an English-language social media website, known for its mainly far-right user base. The sources for this claim are NYTimes, The Verge and NPR. However, only NYTimes and The Verge make this claim. The NPR article is quoting NYTimes. The Verge uses weasel words (see: WP:WEASEL) "Social network, known as an anything-goes haven for the far-right." and shouldn't be included in this claim at all unless it states by whom. As an aside, NYTimes doesn't make this claim this either, it just claims Gab is a digital safe space for the far-right, which doesn't necessarily mean it's known as mainly far-right user base. But that's a different discussion.

It'd be great if we could review the sources in this article for similar instances. Alex.osheter (talk) 08:13, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

The NPR article makes the claim outside of the NYT quote. As for WP:WEASEL, that is a guideline for words to avoid when writing Wikipedia articles, not a guideline to do with external sources. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:06, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
The NPR article most certainly does not make this claim. The second claim is describing the hashtag as appealing to the far right and those who have been banned from Twitter and Facebook Alex.osheter (talk) 08:18, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Are we talking about the same NPR article? The one titled "Feeling Sidelined By Mainstream Social Media, Far-Right Users Jump To Gab"? Because it's right there in the title... Unless you're specifically disputing the inclusion of "mainly"? GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:12, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm mostly disputing the use of circular reporting. 'Far-Right Users Jump To Gab' is not a case for "known for" nor a case for "mainly". No journalist can know about mainly, and known for uses circular reporting. A better source would be one actually already in the article, which looked into the active users on the site. It's not some journo's opinion, it's an actual scholarly article that quantifies how many users there are. "We also show that the majority of Gab users are conservative, male, and Caucasian. Gab is also crowded by extremist users." Alex.osheter (talk) 03:48, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and pulled in a cite from elsewhere in the article, which states quite clearly However, unlike Twitter, its user base mainly consists of people on the far right, many of whom joined after being banned from mainstream networks such as Facebook and Twitter. I've also undone your attempt to reword the sentence from "website known for its mainly far-right user base" to "website known mainly for its far-right user base". GorillaWarfare (talk) 16:35, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
Great! Then make that the source for that claim. This does not however detract from the fact I stated about circular sourcing. I suggest removing these three sources and replacing them with the one you found. Can we agree on that? Keep in mind however, your source does say "mainly" in regards to the userbase - not the notability. Alex.osheter (talk) 17:19, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
No. We do not agree on that.--Jorm (talk) 17:21, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I thought about making the change, but honestly I can't stretch AGF that far. It seems like an attempt to allow others to later come in and claim that "far-right" is only supported by one source, and given your attempts to whitewash this page (and now others) of their connection with the far right I can't AGF that far. It is not circular sourcing to say both that Gab is known for its far-right userbase, and that its userbase is mainly far right. GorillaWarfare (talk) 17:25, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm trying to reach a WP:COMPROMISE, meet me halfway. Your source is good, and backs up the claim made in the article. I have no reason to object to it. As for people assuming others will come in and claim "far-right" is only supported by one source, don't worry - CTRL+F "far-right" reveals plenty of results in plenty of contexts. In this specific context (EDIT: mainly far-right user base) it is only supported by one source. As for the other page, I'll message you on your talk page and we'll discuss that issue separately. Alex.osheter (talk) 17:36, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
There is no "meeting you halfway" nor is there a "compromise". You are asking - and being tendentious about it - for us to go against the sourcing and policy because, as near as I can tell, you don't want to think you're associating with Nazi sympathizers. This is not going to happen. We are not going to whitewash the article for you. People have been trying to do this kind of message massaging for years here - decades, even - and it hasn't worked. You can stop with your efforts as you won't succeed.--Jorm (talk) 19:50, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
This discussion is turning into #Far-right microblogging Internet service is inaccurate.. No one is asking you to go against the sourcing, I'm asking you to fix the sourcing. My initial point was the sources are circular and quoting each other. Alex.osheter (talk) 20:04, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
One source (NPR) does quote a sentence from one of the other sources we're using. That does not make the entire source a duplicate, or unacceptable as a RS. GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:20, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
IMO it does. I'm sorry. You can see from my history I will concede when I'm wrong. Here specifically, this isn't the case. Suggestion: Replace the NPR source with the Guardian one, which specifically is quoted as saying "mainly" and isn't a duplicate. Let the sources speak for themselves, no need to interpret what you think they meant. Alex.osheter (talk) 16:15, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
If you have a policy you can point to that says a source which quotes a different news organization is unacceptable, please provide it. GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:44, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
There is an equally valid argument that Epik's "connections" are with people who value and/or require "free speech". Also your comment seems to indicate that you are concerned with what someone else might do to the Article at some point in the future, so it is necessary to maintain the status quo as a defense against that unknown future. I don't support the proposed change (at least not now), but I question the means by which you advocate the Article stays the same. Not sure, but editing the Article today based on what someone else might do tomorrow seems a little "out there" to me, and goes towards the idea that Editors do not own Articles. Please keep in mind I'm still learning here.Tym Whittier (talk) 03:21, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind I've moved your comment to make chronology a little less confusing. I was considering making the change to try to satisfy Alex, but realized it would be weakening the sourcing—that's what I was referring to when discussing the potential future change. I think it's reasonable to avoid weakening the sourcing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 03:40, 19 May 2019 (UTC)

Cleaning up some OR[edit]

@Tsumikiria: @Jorm:

This part:

The site has been described as "extremist friendly"[9] or a "safe haven"[10] for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right.[9]

reads NYTimes described it as an extremist friendly site for [...], and Mic described it as a safe haven for [...] -- Which is not true.

Or alternatively, [extremist friendly] / [save haven for ...]. Which is also not true. This is OR. The author combined "alt-right" from Mic and "neo-nazis and white supremacists" (white nationalists, btw) from NYT. Alex.osheter (talk) 19:31, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

This is perfectly fine and acceptable, especially given the grammar of the sentence. I oppose your change.--Jorm (talk) 19:52, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Since when is OR acceptable on Wikipedia? Alex.osheter (talk) 19:57, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
It isn't OR. Your personal objection to what is written on the sources should be addressed to the sources, not us. And as other people have already replied to your comments, you must underline/strike your addition and removals. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 20:05, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, I'll definitely do that in future edits. As for what you said, it's wrong. That was not written in the sources, that's the point I'm trying to make. Someone spliced two articles and combined them into one ambiguous statement. This is not my personal objection, that is a statement of fact. The sources are very unambiguous, and state two very different things. One calls it "extremist friendly" (and in a different section ), the other calls it a "safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists", and "a magnet for the alt-right". Splicing the two into one statement is OR. It should clearly be presented as two different statements by two different authors. Alex.osheter (talk) 20:27, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Both conclusions are supported by the sources. I fail to see how WP:OR applies here, or how splitting them into different statements would change WP:OR at all. SportingFlyer T·C 02:43, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
To clear up confusion, I have no problem with the sources reaching these conclusions. They're reliable sources, and that's what they say. The problem is, this article doesn't quote the sources individually. It combines them to make a new statement, which is WP:OR. Can you clarify what you mean by "both conclusions"? Because I feel like maybe I'm not explaining the problem correctly. Alex.osheter (talk) 08:04, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
That's not original research and I think you should go back to Wikipedia school and learn what original research actually is rather than wasting everyone's time.--Jorm (talk) 16:01, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Again, you're being unnecessarily hostile. Instead, perhaps explain why you think it's not original research? Here's a direct quote from WP:SYN : "A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published the same argument in relation to the topic of the article. This would be improper editorial synthesis of published material to imply a new conclusion, which is original research".
NYT - Gab, an Extremist-Friendly Site
NYT - Gab, a two-year-old social network that bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to those platforms, and that has become a haven for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists.
MIC - [...] has developed a notorious reputation as a magnet for the alt-right and a safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists.
Article - the site has been described as "extremist friendly" or a "safe haven" for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right.
Either quote them IN FULL as two separate sources, or pick one. You can't combine the two sources into one. Alex.osheter (talk) 18:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Your interpretation would require someone to parse the sentence as "the site has been described as 'extremist friendly' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right", which makes no sense. There is no issue with the sentence, nor is it OR in any form. GorillaWarfare (talk) 00:17, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
You don't have to combine it like that. My ideal suggestion is: "the site has been described as 'extremist friendly' by the New York Times, and 'a safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists' by MIC.
Alternatively, "According to the New York Times, the site has become 'a haven for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists'".
Or, "According to MIC, the site has become a 'safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists'.
Or if you want to focus on the safe haven, "The site has been described by various sources as a haven for many groups, namely white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists by The New York Times or banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists by MIC".
Or just focus on white nationalists, since both sources make this claim. My point is, there's an infinite number of ways to phrase this without it being OR. The current version is a mash of two sources and is OR. Why do you think it's not? Alex.osheter (talk) 03:29, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
Anyone? Alex.osheter (talk) 16:28, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
The reasonable (but, IMO, unacceptably wordy to use verbatim) interpretation of the sentence is "The site has been described as "extremist friendly" [and has been described as] a "safe haven" for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right." There is no OR there, and it is fully supported by sources. I do not agree with your suggested change. GorillaWarfare (talk) 20:47, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Why do you not agree with my suggested change? It quotes the sources as accurately as possible and removes any OR doubts. Alex.osheter (talk) 21:07, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
There are no OR doubts, except according to you. GorillaWarfare (talk) 22:54, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
Clearly there is a "far-right" presence on Gab, and also that is one of the things Gab is "known for", however my issue is whether or not "far-right" is the first adjective that should be used in the first sentence of the Lede. Gab is "known", at least by it's Users, for many other things. Whether or not there is RS to support this is the question. I assume there is some nuance to Alex.osheter's position that I do not yet understand, on whether or not the term "far-right" should be used, where, and how.Tym Whittier (talk) 19:25, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but every time Gab attracts RS coverage, it is because its users did some horrible things. Maybe you could try to convince Gab's users to do otherwise. But until then, I see that pattern isn't changing. Tsumikiria 🌹🌉 23:59, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You wouldn't include a line about terrorism in the Lede for the Article on Islam using that same reasoning, would you? Also I note with interest that no one holds Facebook and Twitter responsible, every time one of their Users does "something horrible". There are other reasons why the Media might over-report the relationship between Gab and a very small number of people who have done horrible things, who happened to be Users of Gab, other than what you seem to think the explanation is, which appears to be "Gab Users do horrible things" vs. "Some Gab Users have done horrible things".Tym Whittier (talk) 03:13, 19 May 2019 (UTC)
How Gab's users know the site is not relevant to the Wikipedia article—what is relevant is how the site is described by independent, reliable sources, and that's what the "far-right" language is echoing. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Article uses slur in the lead paragraph.[edit]

"Extremist" is not a "slur". This is a patently ridiculous discussion and we're not going to entertain it any further.--Jorm (talk) 16:38, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Gab is an English-language social media website known for its mainly far-right user base. The site has been described as "extremist friendly" or a "safe haven"for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right.(emphasis added).

The term extremist is a slur and should be avoided under WP:NPOV. The English Wikipedia states about the term extremism: "The term is usually meant to be pejorative. However, it may also be used in a more academic, purely descriptive, non-condemning sense." Extremist is mentioned as a word to be avoided under WP:LABEL. The article of style recommends, should the word be used at all, to use an in-text citation, i.e. The New York Times calls the sites users extremists.

The cited article is using the term as a prejorative and not in an academic sense. In another paragraph of the same article they call Gab users "internet scoundrels with views "clearly considered too toxic for the mainstream could congregate and converse freely."

The article already tells us what kinds of people use gab: "neo-nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right". Adding the term extremist provides little new information but does sully the article's neutrality. There is no place for this kind of language in an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2606:6000:6004:2c00::1 (talk) 03:29, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia goes by sources, and per sources, the site is friendly to those who advocate extreme measures or views. Reliable sources will use whatever language they feel is appropriate to describe a topic, and we have no control over that. We are not interested in artificially downplaying how something is described just because it is unflattering. Whitewashing this simple fact would, ironically, be a from of censorship (or at least political correctness). Grayfell (talk) 03:58, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Removing slurs from articles is not artifically downplaying unflattering information. The word "extremist" is simply a slur. You can call them, as the article does, factual terms like neo-nazis or white supremacists, but calling them extremists without an in-text citation is a violation of WP:NPOV. Removing the term extremist is not censorship - the article already tells us what kinds of people use Gab in a purely factual way. The use of the word extremist is superfluous. Per the sources, the site's users are also "scoundrels" and their views are "toxic." These words offer as much value as the word extremist.

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Given this seems to be a controversial page I've refrained from direct editing. Neutrality: Nearly this entire article is heavily pushing a one-sided political message. I can barely figure out what Gab is from reading this article other than it's dangerous, scary and right-wing and everyone hates it, and everyone that works there are horrible people. Nearly the entire article is this way but for brevity look at the lede. Facebook's lede:

  • Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google.[8][9]

On Facebook this very moment are hundreds of hate groups (literally "I hate X" groups), and many "hate people." Yet as a neutral article I would expect to find this kind of information in a controversies section, for example. The lede for Adolf Hitler:

  • Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] (About this soundlisten); 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP). He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934.[a] During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

The lede of Gab:

  • Gab is an English-language social media website known for its mainly far-right user base.[9] The site has been described as "extremist friendly"[10] or a "safe haven"[11] for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right.[10] The site allows its users to read and write multimedia messages of up to 3,000 characters, called "gabs".[12] In financial filings, Gab stated that conservative, libertarian, nationalist and populist internet users were its target markets.[13]

Looking at these three ledes, I get the idea that Facebook is a company which I will need to read more about to understand, Hitler was a person who I will need to read more about to understand, and Gab is some kind of dangerous far-right entity which I am discouraged from reading more about. This tells me the article is politicized and currently needs neutrality improvements. Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 06:14, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

You need to demonstrate a violation of Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy, which necessitates citing specific examples, not merely your general impression. El_C 06:29, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
As an example, I just clicked a random reference.
Claim: "The site primarily attracts far-right or alt-right users who have been banned or suspended from other services"
All uses of the word "right" in the article (summarized points):
  • Alt-right calls Twitter bans "the purge"
  • Some alt-right users became more popular on Gab after the purge
  • Facebook censors alt-right-friendly sites like Breitbart
  • Torba says "Anyone is free to join, not just the alt-right and conservatives.
  • Despite Torba’s insisting not just for alt-right, the Post feels its user base will be unkind to new members they disagree with. (in other words those who are alt-right may be unkind to those who aren't).
  • Torba agreed that Gab’s current audience skewed heavily toward the right, but he argued that the growth of Gab was more of a reflection of an “establishment vs. normal everyday American people movement.”
  • AltRight is one of 10 trending tags listed
  • Talking about a post someone made about looking out for media spies
  • Torba and Sanduja asked, over the course of our phone call, for patience to prove that Gab can prove that it is designed to be something more than the alt-right version of Twitter
  • Site has growing right-wing base, which values the trust in Gab
Where is the claim "The site primarily attracts far-right or alt-right users who have been banned or suspended?" I feel this article needs to be worked on by dispassionate actors; it's in my opinion politicized beyond my interest in the subject, which is based solely on wanting to correct what I consider to be slanted articles. Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 07:35, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
There are multiple sources to that claim, such as "The Far Right Has a New Digital Safe Space" (The New York Times). El_C 07:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll just throw this in for a perspective on "political" bias. It's more sophisticated than what some may assume. Those people may assume that the Article "describes" Gab (and coincidentally aligns with their political perspective), however I assert that it actually serves neither Wikipedia's interests, nor whatever political interests there may be. Rather than describing, it exemplifies, which 1) is an important distinction to make, and 2) something everyone should be aware of. While confirmation bias may exist in all the RS, and so therefore in this Article, there are other confirmation bias(es) that are not sourced, literal or under the control of anyone, and yet they exist, are powerful, and growing. Editors should be aware of "unintended consequences". Average readers come to this Article and are stunned by the "truth", but worse, sometimes the are NOT stunned. The interpretation of the Reader (i.e. "framing") trumps everything, and is transcendent.Tym Whittier (talk) 15:46, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
Do you actually have a point that can be addressed? Because you're totally not convincing. --Jorm (talk) 15:50, 22 May 2019 (UTC)
  • The article is very well sourced and accurately uses those sources to describe Gab. That aligns very well with Wikipedia's mission. I don't believe it has a neutrality problem. Rivselis (talk) 21:09, 22 May 2019 (UTC)

More viewpoints needed[edit]

If the OP wants to challenge the legitimacy of the New York Times, they can do so elsewhere.--Jorm (talk) 14:34, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Other than neutrality in the language, this article in my opinion is suffering from a very contemporary, western "left" viewpoint. Most sources, often all sources making a claim, are "left" or "far-left" organizations which may constitute an imbalance in perspective. Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 06:14, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Arguing that mainstream publications represent "left or far-left organizations" is questionable. At any rate, the onus is on you to demonstrate it as being so. Making blanket generalization is not enough. El_C 06:25, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing questionable about indicating the leaning of mainstream media organization; they are for the most part well-documented and easily sourced. As for onus, is there a broader discussion area for this? It seems more or less common sense that if we write an article about a product/project, including phrases like 'The site has been described as "extremist friendly"' in the very first line of the article is highly controversial. It's sourced only by a left-wing organization and no other thoughts or opinions on the matter are presented. It's just clearly an extremist-friendly site, the end. It seems to me these kinds of inflammatory statements, outside of a "controversy" or "reception" section are what have the burden, but I'm new at this so be forgiving. Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 07:50, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
The New York Times is not a "leftist organization." El_C 07:53, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd ask to see your source that the New York Times is not a left-biased organization, as I find many independent claims it is, including by current high-ranking staff members, and find nowhere ranking it as unbiased or right-wing. Even if it were right-wing, my point more or less stands, I believe. It's a highly inflammatory claim to make on the first line of an article, based on a single source. Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 08:06, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm not here to prove a negative, but it can also be seen as centrist. And it is reliable enough to make that claim, yes. El_C 08:09, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
It can be seen as centrist if we ignore all the majority of appropriate sources which claim it is left-leaning, which I believe is against the spirit of how non-biased information is meant to work. I'm not making a claim that they are not reliable; I'm saying that for extremely inflammatory claims to be put on the first line of an article, it should probably have more than one source, and if it for some reason absolutely must be there, we should probably not be using an organizations real or imagined enemies. This conversation can grow to be fairly long, but I suppose I would ask, why is the onus on me to prove why an inflammatory statement based on one source shouldn't be in the first line of an article about a website? Isn't that backwards? Diaozhadelaowai (talk) 08:20, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Feel free to learn more about how Wikipedia works, and take your grievances to the Reliable Sources Noticeboard if you feel that the New York Times is not a reliable source. I'm going to close this thread.--Jorm (talk) 14:33, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, and the fact that there are way more reliable "left-wing sources" and "mainstream sources" talking about Gab than reliable "right-wing sources" and "alternative media sources" talking about Gab only makes the article less neutral. X-Editor (talk) 14:33, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Your argument is diminished by WP:FALSEBALANCE. I'm not sure it was worth un-archiving the discussion just for that. El_C 23:49, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Sorry about that, I've retracted my statement. X-Editor (talk) 14:33, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
No problem. Glad I was able to persuade you. I've reclosed the discussion. El_C 23:59, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.