EDITOR’S NOTE: There is much more about Andrew Torba, his associates, and family that we can write about here but won’t because our ethics won’t allow it. Providence Post’s rules of engagement forbid us from discussing personal details unrelated to the story or family and friends unless directly connected in some meaningful way to the operation being exposed or are public people. For example, if someone had been arrested for DUI, drugs, fighting, or whatever we would not discuss unless somehow directly related to the topic. However, if someone had been convicted of fraud and is now taking part is suspicious business practices or been accused of rape and is now a public speaker on relationships we would mention those personal details.
Over the past decade, the United States, and to a great extent the entire world, have been in a growing state of censorship. Ideas that go against the accepted narrative are often removed from the internet and the creators of those ideas are persecuted as being “hateful” or purveyors of disinformation. Many major hubs of communication like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have actively censored their platforms, particularly after the 2016 US Presidential Election primarily due to the rise of the Alt-Right movement. E-celebrities, content creators, and many of their followers found themselves banned from mainstream social media, which created a vacuum that was soon filled by vaporware sites and grifters whose profits lay in victimhood narratives and false hype, none of which are more notorious or egregious than Gab and its founder Andrew Torba.
Founded just months before the 2016 Presidential Election by self-described Silicon Valley conservative Andrew Torba, Gab touted itself as a censorship-free alternative to Twitter and was heavily promoted by the media before becoming associated with far-right extremism and hate after the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. As of 2022, Gab has adopted a militant Christian nationalist bent and boasts of having an excess of one million “cumulative registered accounts”1 as well as having a value of $10 million, despite indisputable evidence to the contrary.
Since Gab’s inception, Torba has shapeshifted and rebranded himself many times in order to attract any group that would promote Gab and give him money. Over the course of Gab’s history, Torba has pandered to nearly every fringe online community on the right-wing spectrum; ranging from 4chan lolicon connoisseurs and edgelords to the QAnon and MAGA cults and beyond. If one looks past Torba’s conservative christian veneer they will find an affinity grifter who says and does everything in his power to keep the façade of Gab being a viable alternative to Twitter going and keep the money flowing. Torba relied on making misleading claims about the user base and utility of Gab in order to rip off millions of dollars from investors, many of whom he swindled using his conservative christian affinity grift.
Gab’s notoriety is mainly due to Torba fostering a toxic environment on the site by not moderating terms of service violations like doxxing and threats of violence. Why does Torba purposefully leave some of the more unhinged elements of Gab unmoderated? What has Torba done to improve Gab with the millions of dollars he raised? What happened to those millions? Why hasn’t the SEC done anything about it? Does Gab’s seeming immunity from legal consequences and purposeful lack of moderation point to it being a honeypot, especially considering Torba’s frequent willingness to report his own users to the Feds?
Origins of a Spiteful Sociopathic Nerd With Delusions of Grandeur
Like most alt-right grifters, Andrew Torba’s Aryan credentials are dubious at best.
The surname Torba comes from the Turkish word for “bag”98 and has been known to be adopted by diaspora Jews from Eastern Europe.
Torba’s mother Amy Torba could easily be mistaken for being a Gypsy or Middle Easterner.
From what can be gathered about Torba’s origins before his entry into the public spotlight, Andrew fit the archetype of the spiteful nerd. In now-deleted blog posts Torba claimed to have grown up being bullied for being overweight and enjoyed poetry91. Much of his poetry has been scrubbed from the internet but one quintessential example that survived is titled “The Lion” and is about the “King of the jungle” with a “luxurious mane” standing its ground against the “mediocrity” and “chains of mindless cattle”93. If one interprets Torba as the lion, his later actions and treatment of his investors begin to make a lot more sense.
Despite Torba’s claim of being a “lifelong conservative Republican Christian”10, details from his immediate family suggest that the Torba family is anything but conservative, as it’s been reported that his family (including his wife) were registered democrats92. His mother Amy openly subscribes to astrology and consults with sorcerers and often discussed publicly the many psychotropic medications she has taken since her teens. Andrew Torba’s brother, Jake, is an open homosexual that has praised the persecution of Jan 6th protestors. These facts apparently don’t bother Torba and Gab’s alleged christian principles or concern him as potential security risks for users, as both Amy and Jake work for Gab as moderators and administrators.
Torba and many conservatives often mock leftist moderators of big tech socials for being a bunch of obese, mentally ill, sexual deviants and Satan worshippers. Turns out that Gab moderators are not far behind.
Torba himself is no stranger to the liberal worldview; in 2013 he wrote an article that was republished by the woke tech outlet Woman 2.0. In the article, Torba decried sexism in the tech industry and praised his mother and female college professors as being essential to the existence of his company, and signed his name with “doing my part to smash the patriarchy”4.
Despite being introduced as a “computer programmer and engineer” during appearances on the Alex Jones show13, David Knight show and on the shows of many other alt-right figures he’d come to cozy up to and associate with, Torba went to the Jesuit University of Scranton for a degree in philosophy and received minors in entrepreneurship and political science3 and has no programming or development skills whatsoever.
His chosen major is no surprise, as it’s common for grifters and disinfo agents (such influencers in tech billionaire and gay conservative kingpin Peter Thiel’s network) to be have training in philosophy as it teaches young men to question morals and to not have a foundation in any truth, helping them become the kind of amoral influencer needed to infiltrate and destroy sincere dissident political movements.
In 2011, Torba and a friend founded Kuhkoon, a tech startup specializing in automating facebook ad campaigns for small companies with a “grand plan” to “automate all of paid media spending on the internet”14. Two years later, Kuhkoon was supported by Y Combinator, a startup accelerator, which prompted Torba to move from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Silicon Valley in California.
During this time, Torba was described by associates from Y Combinator as being “mild-mannered” and “unremarkable”3. In 2015, Kuhkoon changed its name to Automate Ads and a year later Torba stepped down as CEO the same month he founded Gab. The endeavor didn’t appear to be particularly successful for Torba, as he only had $5,000 of his own money to loan to Gab during its foundation, which he eventually paid himself back after his first fundraiser.
After Gab was launched, Torba began causing drama in the Y Combinator alumni social media boards. After being blocked by Y Combinator’s president for harassing him over his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Torba began flaming comment sections, calling his former colleagues “cucks” and telling them to “fuck off”. Many were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and engage with him in the comments, having known him as a leftist up until this point, and not knowing that Torba’s freakout was an attempt to sheepdip himself into the conservative movement by alienating his former liberal associates and painting himself as a victim.
After making the Y Combinator alumni sufficiently uncomfortable, Torba got the boot, which he claimed was due to him being a conservative10, despite admittedly being an alcoholic and living with a girl he met on Tinder at the time.
And with this we have the creation of Torba’s new identity as a right-wing zealot fighting for free speech on behalf of humanity, the first of many shapeshifts.
Torba would later defend Peter Thiel when the right-wing billionaire was also booted from Y Combinator11. As the picture indicates below, Torba and Thiel have met in person, and while the extent of their association remains unknown, many figures associated with Thiel’s network such as Weev and Ricky Vaughn were early users of Gab, and if Thiel’s goal is to destroy the alt-right movement as we know it, Gab has certainly advanced that agenda as we will discover.
Mainstream and Alternative Medias Team Up to Astroturf Gab
Gab.ai launched as a private beta in August of 2016 on a “shoestring budget” and with a small team2 of non-white foreigners, notably co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Ekrem Buyukkaya, a Turkish citizen and Torba’s partner from a previous company and “best friend”, whom Torba later swindled out of his 25.74% stake in Gab. After the synagogue shooting in Pittsburg, Ekrem came under a lot of pressure from his family and even political and legal issues in his home country of Turkey. He had no choice but to exit Gab and Torba took full advantage of his friend’s difficulties and bought back his 25.74% shares for a whopping $60,000. This was after receiving over $3,000,000 in fundraising giving gab a “valuation” of well over $10,000,000. While everyone knows that valuation is ridiculous, the fact remains that Torba had millions in his coffers and could have easily paid Ekrem, his friend, much more.
Ekrem was replaced as CTO by Robert Colbert who seemed to fit right in at Gab. He also had a lot of mental health issues and questionable ethics and was all too happy to help keep the grift alive as long as he was paid.
Gab’s Chief Communications officer was Utsav Sanduja, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin94 who was forced to leave after asking one too many female gab users for their nudes and many other sexually graphic statements and acts. He claimed to live in an open marriage with his Jewish opera singer wife but she apparently wasn’t aware.
Even the site’s name is suspect; looking and sounding very similar to the Hebrew word “Gabbai”, which means collector of gifts or taxes, which makes a lot of sense considering Gab’s business model.
Launched amid Twitter’s first high profile ban of Milo Yiannopolous, the homosexual Breitbart editor was the site’s seventh registered user6.
Later that month, Gab was given what essentially amounted to free publicity by Breitbart in an article titled “Meet the CEO of Gab, The Free Speech Alternative to Twitter”. In the interview, Torba espoused his belief in free speech and anonymity, welcomed users and influencers of all backgrounds to the platform, and claimed 10,000 people registering for the beta in just four days7.
Gab’s early promotion wasn’t limited to conservative outlets like Breitbart; Buzzfeed and the Washington Post released relatively positive articles about the platform and left Torba’s claims of growth unquestioned. Buzzfeed’s article came out a month after Gab launched and portrayed it as a conservative leaning free speech website, not even describing it as “alt-right”8. The Washington Post’s article, released in November, painted Gab as a free speech refuge for deplatformed alt-right personalities, but also featured Torba expressing hope that Bernie Sanders supporters will be attracted to the platform9. Even the ultra-liberal New York Times joined in, calling Gab the far right’s new “digital safe space” while also repeating Torba’s claims of having nearly 100,000 “accounts with tens of thousands more on a waiting list12. This early coverage from the mainstream media, despite them labeling it “far-right”, was a major source of free publicity for Gab, which drew many disaffected right-wing social media and influencers to the site.
Even later on, when a majority of the mainstream’s media became hostile it benefited Gab as their negative coverage gave the site alt-media “street cred”, as a favorite line of thinking pushed by grifters like Alex Jones is “if the MSM hates them they must be the real deal!”, which allows for pitifully easy infiltration into the movement. Leftwing media outlets would report on the outrageousness of the neo-nazis using the platform while rarely reporting on Gab’s legitimate problems like security vulnerabilities, proliferation of cartoon pornography of children, or Torba’s shameless grifting. This is because the powers behind the mainstream media essentially want Gab around to carrol the right into a digital ghetto and to occasionally provide content to feed the 24/7 news machine.
A little over a month into the private beta, Torba published an article titled “How You Can Help Support Gab”, which introduced Gab’s oldest and longest running public source of income: donations. The article details how you can help the site by volunteering and spreading word of the site, but mainly focuses on how you can donate money to Gab’s Paypal. Torba also wrote a section explaining how the donation money was to be used for “server hosting and expansion, launching new costly features such as native image hosting, legal, accounting, and tax professional expenses” in exchange for nothing other than the satisfaction of supporting Gab’s “mission to put people first and protect free speech online”15. This led to Gab users donating $130,000 with the intention of it going towards building and improving the site5, but what did their donations actually do to help Gab in its early stages? Not very much as we will find out.
Gab is a $130,000 Website in a $49 Body
In January of 2017, a list of Gab’s verified users and donors was datamined and released to the public17. Torba responded to this incident with a Gab post claiming that the “SJW goons” did not hack Gab as the data was apparently public and further claimed that security was Gab’s top priority18.
Another major security vulnerability was the way Gab handled external images, which had the user’s browser make a direct request to an external website in order to show a preview, thereby allowing Gab users’ IP addresses to be harvested16. This exploit was eventually brought to CTO Buyukkaya’s attention and fixed19.
Not only limited to bugs, even some of Gab’s early features showed how poorly the site was developed. Gab’s OAuth allowed the site to access its users’ twitter accounts and private messages20 until twitter put a stop to it25. Most concerningly, during this time instead of using a third party to store customer credit card numbers, Gab kept the payment data on its servers21 22.
None of these incidents hindered Gab’s early development. Gab seemed to keep growing in popularity, which opened up new avenues for grifting.
Gab Monetized Lolicon Before Banning It
In March of 2017, after several months of collecting donations in exchange for nothing, Torba rolled out GabPro memberships. For $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year, GabPro members were given exclusive benefits such as verification, private group chats, the ability to stream on GabTV as well as early access to new features. Later that year GabPro Premium was released, which gave users the ability to accept tips, create paywalls and charge other users for content23. This feature resulted in a proliferation of paywall protected pornography to Gab, particularly lolicon, a type of cartoon child pornography that’s heavily associated with internet pedophilia24.
Gab was no stranger to pornography however, as the site was inundated with smut as early as four months into its private beta, which resulted in Apple refusing Gab entry into its app store in 2016 due to adult content25. Apparently the porn paywall users brought more value to Gab than representation in the Apple store, as Torba allowed entire communities of pornography producing and consuming degenerates to grow, as long as he got his cut.
The loli gravy train would eventually run out, however, when Stripe performed a routine review of Gab’s account and found it in violation of their policies for “facilitating access to adult content”.
As a result, Torba banned lolicon from Gab34, much to the consternation of many Gab users.
This came too little too late, as Stripe froze its account in late 2018 over violation of its policy on adult content33.
After this revenue stream dried up Torba tried to attach himself to several other communities. In later years, after fully embracing the Christian affinity grift and attaching himself to Nick Fuentes, Milo, and others, he did a complete 180 flip on his professed free speech principles and argued that pornography is not speech and should be made illegal35. This was typical of Torba’s moral standards, he did the same with advertising. In the early years of Gab, Torba cursed socials that used advertising but it was obvious that he was under an non-compete from the company sold before starting Gab. As soon as that non-compete expired, Gab began running ads.
Andrew Torba’s SEC Shenanigans
Business seemed to be going smoothly for Gab in its first year; the mainstream media was giving millions of dollars worth of free publicity, donations and paid accounts were bringing money in, and after nine months of beta testing the site finally left private beta on May 8th, 2017. Gab boasted of having 170,000 “Gabbers” who raised $145,000 to expand the site’s team and cover “operational expenses”. The site also featured more of the alt-right’s biggest influencers such as Lauren Southern and Paul Joseph Watson26, as well as ambiguous placeholder accounts for blue checkmark accounts like @realdonaldtrump who haven’t joined Gab. Later that Summer, Gab received a spike in alt-right users following another round of deplatforming from the aftermath of the Unite the Right Charlottesville disaster27.
In the Summer of 2017, Torba took advantage of the 2012 Jobs Act to start selling up to 1.07 million shares of Gab common stock to the public28. Using securities brokerage firm Start Engine, Gab sold shares at $1.10 for investors who bought the minimum investment amount of $199.105. Gab claimed in its offering statement to the Securities and Exchange Commision to have more than 191,000 “users” and that Gab needs at least one million dollars to “improve” its technology and become sustainable. Gab also claimed a value of $9.9 million dollars, based on no metric other than the “opinion of the company”29. Torba would use the overexagerated value to sell his grift on unsuspecting conservatives, including an instance where he suggested a $200 investment can turn into a return of $200,000.
By late August, Gab had raised 1.07 million dollars (tax free30) by selling 972,727 shares, roughly 9.75 percent of the company, to 1,792 investors. The rest of the company’s 9 million shares were held by Torba, Buyukkaya, and an unnamed shareholder31.
The following year in 2018, Gab held another crowdfunding session to raise another million dollars. This time, however, Gab was selling Class B non-voting common stock called Gab Tokens, based on the ethereum blockchain. According to Gab’s 2019 annual report to the SEC, 250,576 Gab Tokens were sold at $4 dollars per share32 to approximately 1,900 investors, raking in a little over one million dollars28. Unlike the previous round of funding, Gab was more careful in the language it used to describe its user numbers in its filings. In its second round offering statement, Gab claimed to have “660,000 registered users” as well as the ability to determine the veracity of these users “via confirmed email address and unique IP addresses”32.
Each annual report had Gab’s stated user number increase drastically, culminating in Gab claiming to have over one million “cumulative registered users” in its 2020 annual report to the SEC1. Many critics and even some Gab users have doubted the veracity of these numbers, suspecting that these figures may be composed mainly of bots28, which are computer generated identities unscrupulous website owners use to artificially inflate their site’s popularity.
Currently, it’s possible to create an account on Gab using a non-existent email address without needing to respond to the confirmation email, making it entirely possible for bots that can get past the simple text-based captcha and pass as genuine users. Influxes of bots to the site can explain Gab’s “explosive growth”, such as hundreds of thousands of “users” registering in one day36 and temporary boosts in foreign “registered users” from countries like Kenya37, likely indicating the use of bot farms.
Torba’s alleged use and acceptance of bots would backfire from time to time, particularly when they would post porn on Gab after it had been banned. In these instances, Torba would moan about Gab being attacked by “pornbots”74, yet refused to do anything to make it harder for bots to access the site.
Statements by a software engineer from Gab’s hosting service Sibyl System Ltd, Lilac Kapul, in early 2019 seems to have confirmed the bot suspicions surrounding Gab. After an inquiry from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Kapul revealed that Gab’s claim of 835,000 registered users in the SEC filings for another round of fundraising, this time under Regulation A which would’ve allowed Gab to sell tens of millions of dollars worth of its shares28, did not correlate to reality. Kapul said that there was “no way [Gab] could have 800,000 users” and estimated that, based on the hardware it takes to run Gab (five servers), it was more likely that Gab had actual user numbers in the thousands or tens of thousands38. Furthermore, an analysis by social media intelligence company Storyful did its own investigation and discovered that over a seven day period in January of 2019 roughly only 19,526 unique usernames had posted content to Gab38.
A month after the SPLC expose was published, Torba withdrew Gab’s Regulation A offering statement, citing simply that Gab decided to seek “other capital raising alternatives”; two years later, Torba would terminate Gab’s reporting to the SEC entirely40. While being far from smoking gun evidence, the fact that Torba went from “users”, to “registered users” to “cumulative registered users” over the years in his SEC filings hints that Torba was trying to cover his butt in the fine print from this kind of scrutiny.
According to Kapul, Gab’s claim of 800,000 users exceeded the social media site’s server capacity, which according to its SEC filing was costing Gab $1,175 per month, a paltry sum compared to its reported warchest of $500,000 cash in a 2018 SEC filing38. At this point in its history Gab had more than enough funds to hire professionals to revamp Gab, but rather than doing that Torba instead switched to using Mastodon’s free software and API in 201955.
These questions become more poignant when considering how in 2021, having had ample time to invest in better cybersecurity infrastructure, Gab had a massive data breach in which “demon hackers” were able to obtain 70 gigabytes of the social media site’s private data48.
Gab’s Half-assed Whitelabeling
Very little to no money appears to have been spent on Torba’s side ventures he uses as fundraising excuses. A lawsuit against Google, which Torba mentioned on Gab’s StartEngine page, was filed in September of 2017 by Gab over the big tech giant removing Gab from the Android store, a decision Google attributed to Gab’s lack of moderation. Gab’s lawyer claimed Google had violated antitrust laws due to owning Gab’s “competition” Youtube and Google Plus72. A month later the lawsuit was dropped when Google gave Gab the opportunity to resubmit to its app store73.
For anyone naive or dumb enough to trust Torba with their financial information to help power Torba’s “parallel economy” was Gab Pay, which of course was a ripoff of Got Money.
Another big project Torba touted for Gab was building its own browser “from the ground up”75.
Dubbed “Dissenter”, far from building it from the ground up, Torba forked Brave, an open source browser, and only replaced the name, icon, and tagline to match Gab’s. One thing Gab didn’t copy was Brave’s diligent updating of its software: if one goes to Dissenter’s Github page78, one can see it hasn’t been updated in years while Brave’s software is updated nearly continuously79. Dissenter also wasn’t nearly as secure as Brave, since it associates a user’s IP address and in some cases even their Gab account with the Dissenter browser75.
Torba pulled the same trick when he tried to take credit for Mastodon’s code eliciting condemnation and a cease and desist letter from its creator, Gargron and Torba was later forced to publish his changes to the Mastodon code.
…who would later point out Torba’s incompetence after Gab was hacked following modifying their code.
These examples perfectly illustrate Torba’s business strategy: fundraise with the promise of using those funds to create a new thing, copy someone else’s open source idea for free, half-ass its implementation, slap a Gab logo on it and brag about your success to an audience who don’t know any better and banning those that do.
Why Gab Fails the Test of Free Speech
Another aspect of Gab which Torba misrepresented is it being a free speech website. Some think that free speech is tested by pornography or hate speech, however, the real test of free speech is if one can criticize those in power. Torba is recalcitrant to ban users over hateful content or pornography, but he’s had no trouble outright banning Gab’s most ardent critics, especially those who demonstrated the site’s faults and flaws80, something that not even twitter has been known to do.
When comparing Gab’s functionality and security from when it left private beta in 2017 to today, one is left wondering what did Torba do with those millions of dollars raised to actually improve the website as his crowdfunding screeds promised he would do (other than spending $220,000 on upgrading Gab.ai to Gab.com57)?
When held under scrutiny, Torba’s business practices involving Gab has all the signs of being a classic pump and dump scheme; Torba pumps up his company’s value with misleading claims of Gab’s user base and features, accruing investor money with the promise of improving the site and then pocketing it. The SEC seems to have caught on to this, as Torba’s latest attempt at fundraising has failed and Gab has since ceased submitting any more filings to the SEC as of 2021, which leaves us the question: why hasn’t the Federal government brought consequences against Torba for his fraudulent claims and valuation of Gab?
“Screw Your Optics”: How Gab Became a Right-Wing Honeypot
Even before the 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, Gab’s dedication to free speech and lax moderation had earned it the reputation of being a haven for fed posting and the mentally unstable within the alt-right. Torba actively encouraged this atmosphere with his selective moderation and promotion and weaponization of the most deranged. Other than to live up to its alleged free speech principles, Gab’s lax moderation of its users benefited Torba by catering to a niche market of deplatformed alt-right edgelords who were sure to get plenty of free marketing for Gab from leftist publications as well as providing a steady stream of whackos for Torba and his mother to weaponize against their critics.
By October of 2018, Gabber #7, the “Dangerous Faggot” Milo, looked normal relative to Gab’s more notorious, prominant users like Andrew Anglin, publisher of the neo-nazi Daily Stormer; Weev, neo-nazi hacker and genocide proponent; Patrick Little, a congressional candidate who ran on a platform of antisemitism; Paul Nehlen, another congressional candidate and Christopher Cantwell, Charlottesville posterchild and alt-right shock jock, just to name a few. Torba marketed these figures and their antics beyond the norm of free speech in America, and would only remove their posts or ban their accountants when forced to.
The first incident took place shortly after Charlottesville when Gab’s domain registrar at the time demanded a post made by Anglin mocking the death of Charlottesville victim Heather Hayer be removed, which Torba did41. Anglin’s CTO Weev was one of the first Gabbers to be outright banned from the site a month later for inciting terrorism; specifically calling for Jews to be “taught a lesson” and praising Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh. This prompted Gab’s host to again threaten to cut off services if Weev wasn’t removed from the website, which was met with much protest from Gab’s users43. Weev’s removal strangely drew the ire of Trump ally and political operative Roger Stone, who told off Mike Cernovich and Alex Pilosov83, two associates of the Gisea-Thiel alt-right network84 along with Weev.
A year later, Gab’s host Microsoft Azure, a very odd choice, threatened to cease doing business with the social media site if it didn’t remove posts from Patrick Little calling to raise jews as livestock and threatening to destroy a Holocaust memorial. Torba again deleted the post, griping about how it was a violation of his rights as an American42. Little would be permanently banned from Gab after the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting for encouraging the harassment of private citizens, with Gab emphasizing that it had nothing to do with Little’s hate speech43. Cantwell would be banned from the website in 2019, in wake of the Christchurch Shooting when he made a post suggesting would-be mass shooters target left-wing activists instead of defenseless women and children39. Despite removing the post and apologizing, Cantwell was banned by Torba90.
Notably, Torba banned alt-right congressional candidate Paul Nehlen over the latter’s doxing of Ricky Vaughn, an influential user caught in the crossfire in a feud between Cantwell and Weev over the direction of the alt-right movement99.
As it turns out, Vaughn, whose real name is Douglass Mackey, had been a consultant with Smartchekr, a precursor to Peter Thiel’s ClearviewAI facial recognition software100. Was Torba’s oddly strong handed approach to banning Nehlen due to the need to defend a fellow Thiel asset? Notably, Mackey’s ally Weev has bragged about meeting Thiel’s right hand man (likely Jeff Gisea), “racists” being bankrolled by Gisea, and displayed interest in facial recognition102.
When faced with massive public backlash, Gab had little trouble removing its more prominent, alt-right e-celebrity users; more obscure but no less deranged users were still allowed to spread hatred and fetishize violence on the website, especially if they were going after Gab’s critics, most infamously Todd Kincannon.
Kincannon was the former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party and became a prominent Gab user and defender after being kicked off of twitter. While his account and posts have been scrubbed from Gab, leftover posts from users critical of the site have complained about Kincannon “going crazy” and trying to dox them44, with one prominent Gab critic, Derek Peterson, CEO of Hope Holdings and Providence Post, was doxxed and threatened with violence by Kincannon, who lived in the same state as Peterson45. Kinkannon was not only not moderated or suspended for his behavior but was actively encouraged to seek out revenge against Peterson and other critics. Sadly, the day after promising to kill Peterson that week Kincannon was imprisoned for ritually sacrificing his mother’s dog, at the request of “God”, with a kitchen knife46.
The consequences of Torba’s unwillingness to moderate the most unhinged users and use them for marketing eventually caught up with him when a Gab user allegedly murdered 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue in Fall of 2018, which much of Gab’s userbase ended up celebrating despite Torba’s disavowal47.
On the 27th of October of that year, active and verified Gabber Robert Bowers made a final post decrying the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, writing: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in”. Two hours later, Bowers allegedly shot 11 jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and within hours the massacre was tied back to Gab49. In an attempt at damage control, Torba not only willingly handed Bowers’ data over to the FBI (without even waiting for a warrant), he handed over all his users’ data and took the site down, citing anticipation of media smears. Gab then had most of its third party services cut ties with it, including its payment services Paypal49, as well as its domain host GoDaddy50, effectively shutting the site down.
This all proved too much for CTO Büyükkaya, who stepped down from his role at the company51 and returned his shares for the equivalent of a year’s pay, a fraction of what his stock was worth according to Torba’s claims of Gab’s valuation52. Sanduja had already left in June, stating his wife worked at a synagogue and they were receiving death threats101.
This would not be the end of Gab, however. Rob Monster, CEO of Epik, who saw an opportunity to run his own affinity grift, took Gab on as a customer and provided domain registrar services through Epik, respectively53.
The democrat attorney general for Pittsburgh, Josh Shapiro, opened a probe into Gab’s culpability in the shooting. Torba was prepared for this, however, as from the beginning it was stated in Gab’s terms of service that it “may also report the user(s) to local and/or federal law enforcement, as per the advice of our legal counsel” 81. That’s right, Gab was and has always been willing to dox its users to the Feds without needing so much as a warrant or subpoena.
Gab even has a streamlined process for snitching on its users to federal authorities with a service called Kodex. A fellow YCombinator startup85, Kodex describes itself as a “workflow management web platform that allows compliance & legal teams to effectively collaborate with governments on the millions of data requests that are sent each year in response to abuses online” and was founded by both “FBI and private sector technology leadership”86. Gab’s cooperation with federal law enforcement through Kodex has been documented by court documents, with one instance in August of 2022 in which Gab provided a user’s IP address which allowed him to be identified by law enforcement after making edgy, vaguely threatening posts regarding the FBI87. When asked about this by a user, Torba admitted to using Kodex and claimed he was protecting the Gab community.
Despite Torba’s cooperation with the probe, Shapiro unceremoniously ended it a year later in 2019, without giving a reason for why it shut down82, for reasons that will later become apparent.
Several years later after the January 6 Capital Riot Torba declared that, once again, he was voluntarily working with law enforcement to hand over the data of his users without even waiting for a warrant to do so60.
“God is on Gab”: Christianity Affinity Grifting
Labeled as a hateful bigot enabler by the mainstream media, losing his politically neutral business partner, and now being enabled by Monster, nothing was left in the way of Torba embracing a toxic combination of alt-right politics and Christian nationalism, also referred to as dominionism, the belief that the nation ought to be run under Biblical law exclusively by who they determine to be Christian.
Torba solicited the worst the alt-right had to offer Gab, ranging from welcoming the Qanon community onto the platform56 to lately adopting a “Christian secessionist” mindset. In another attempt to affinity grift based on false promises, Torba claimed to be dedicating his work at Gab to creating a parallel Christian economy and society57, likely taking cue from Monster, who’s publicly professed these beliefs for years53.
And thus Torba turned Gab into a “Christian” company:
Expanding beyond the political media spheres of Infowars and Breitbart, Torba would go on to give interviews with the Dominionist and Catholic media outlets Trunews76 and Church Militant77, respectively…
…where he would espouse the newest iteration of his Christian nationalist affinity grift as confidently as he did when he was a conservative free speech advocate shaking hands with Epstein associate Alan Dershowtiz just a few years earlier.
Many new believers in Christianity feel a certain zeal and outspokenness, but rarely would they feel confident enough to teach and lead others about the Bible six months after coming to Christ. However, Torba thought he was Holy and wise enough to lead America in some kind of spiritual revolution.
This affinity grift seemed to be a coordinated effort, as if someone from above gave the order from above to start this grift cycle, as we saw grifters normally associated with politics like Ali Alexander, Baked Alaska, and Milo Yiannopolous suddenly become devout Christian nationalists.
Along with dominionism, Torba promoted ecumenicalism as well, likely to not limit pools to grift from.
Torba’s Christian nationalist pivot is especially reprehensible because this immature, amoral grifter who associates with degenerate reprobates like Milo, Ali Akbar (Alexander), Nick Fuentes and Alex Jones is presenting himself as a spiritual leader and guide for young christians.
Unfortunately, this new grift has brought Torba new opportunities, as grifters love to collaborate.
Becoming A Cat Boy’s Pay Pig
By 2022, most of the alt-right from its 2016-17 heyday had either collapsed or given up on politics, and Gab was no exception; the site had lost a lot of its initial luster and legitimacy among the alt-right eroded due to Torba’s practices of maintaining “placeholder accounts” for celebrities like Donald Trump who haven’t joined Gab giving the appearance that they’re actively posting to the site and getting right-wing e-celebs banned off twitter to drive them towards Gab. This made it necessary for Torba to start looking for new ways to bring in users to Gab.
Going about it in the worst way possible, Torba pandered to Nicholas J. Fuentes and his America First movement. Fuentes had earned the ire of many Gab users over his role in destroying what was left of the old alt-right through the “optics wars” following Charlottesville and deriding many Gab users as “wignats” i.e. wigger nationalists. When it was announced that Torba would be sponsoring Fuentes’ America First Political Action Committee conference AFPAC III with a $20,000 donation61, many GabPro users went into open revolt.
Following the support from Gab, Fuentes and his followers attempted to take over the site that they had held in contempt before receiving the donation, trolling “wignats” and trying to drive what few women were left on the platform away, one notably going as far as making posts fantasizing about murdering them with a giant hammer. Many GabPro users and advertisers ceased their support for Gab once it became obvious that the money they had put into the site was being given to bad actors who hated them62. Not perturbed by this in the slightest, Torba went to AFPAC III and gave a speech, ending with “if you do not have a sword then sell your cloak and buy one because we have a lot of work to do63”. In the end Torba’s donation appears to have been for nothing. Weeks after AFPAC III Fuentes’ followers lost interest in Gab and Fuentes himself has been publishing videos instructing his followers on how to evade a Twitter ban to get back onto the platform64.
Torba’s hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness didn’t stop at AFPAC III. When Elon Musk first started expressing interest in buying Twitter, Torba begged Musk to invest in Gab, offering the billionaire a board seat and equity in exchange for two billion dollars invested into the company65. This came just three months after Torba published an article stating: “Gab doesn’t have a billionaire behind us pulling all the strings. We don’t have Wall Street. We don’t have multi-national corporations. We don’t need them, because what we have is you. Gab is funded by people like you66.”
Even after Musk’s takeover of Twitter and Fuentes’ second banning96; the Groyper leader has not made using or promoting Gab a priority.
Discrediting Doug Mastriano
Torba’s latest antics have moved beyond the realm of social media and into Pennsylvania state politics with his association with gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. It was discovered in April of 2022 that Mastriano’s campaign paid Gab $5,000 for “consulting” services, which Torba would later claim was for advertising. Regardless, all new users to Gab would automatically follow Mastriano’s account. Mastriano did an interview with Torba where they both praised each other, even though afterwards Mastriano’s campaign distanced itself from Gab and condemned antisemitism67, going as far as posting a picture of Mastriano praying on the Jerusalem Wailing Wall on twitter70. Torba responded to the media attacks against Mastriano’s involvement with Gab by doubling down on his Christian nationalism schtick, empathizing how “we” don’t want Jews or non-christians running the country69. Mastriano would delete his Gab account without disavowing the site and Torba distanced himself from the campaign71, which did little to disassociate the two from each other in the mainstream media. Similar to what he’s been doing to the christian conservative movement’s online reputation at large, Torba tarnished Mastriano’s reputation with his unhinged rhetoric and oversized ego.
Torba’s involvement with Mastriano reflected incredibly poorly on the campaign, especially considering his democrat opponent was none other than Josh Shapiro. Could Shapiro or the political powers behind him have recruited Torba as a controlled opposition in exchange for not being prosecuted over the Pittsburgh shooting? Or is the “dump” in Gab’s pump and dump scheme inevitably approaching and Torba is trying to transition into political grifting?
The latter is likely the case, as Torba predictably joined Fuentes in boarding the Kanye 2024 grift95, likely plotting his next sheepdip.
In its six year history, Gab has managed to burn millions of dollars, suck support away from real projects, dox 10s of thousands or conservatives, defame free speech and even Christianity and make Torba a very wealthy man. Gab and Torba and his family are arguably responsible for nearly a dozen deaths, hundreds of imprisonments and the radicalization of likely thousands of users into self-destructive and anti-social lifestyles. Yet somehow Torba is able to get away with behavior and actions that would bring extreme legal scrutiny over any other company or website.
There is ample evidence to show that Gab has repeatedly misled investors and regulators in its SEC filings, as well as the way it spent the funds it raised. Raising millions of dollars to improve a website only to consistently use inexpensive or even free templates is arguably fraud, especially considering the security gaps that went unpatched until they had already been hacked. Torba adopted christian nationalism as a facade to grift money away from actual christians and conservatives.
Torba even misrepresents his credentials, allowing other alt-right grifters to refer to him as a computer programmer when he has no background in software engineering or programming13. He’s done all of this, on top of raising millions of dollars from investors without delivering on his many promises, and so far Torba has faced very few, if any, consequences for his actions, all the while he’s turning over user data whenever the Feds request it. Is Torba being protected from any meaningful consequences by the government in order to keep Gab operating as a honeypot?
This would explain Gab’s chronic history of poor security for its users’ data, as is likely the case with Epik53, in order to, also evidenced by Torba coming to former Smartchekr employee Douglass Mackey’s defense after being doxed.
It’s very possible that Torba was recruited into the Peter Thiel network; an insidious initiative by the homosexual tech billionaire to terraform the American right-wing into his own sodomite image. Their goal is to supplant and subvert real Christian faith, squelch real tech solutions and identify, catalog, control and remove right-wing dissidents that might stand in their way, similar to how Thiel used his facial recognition technology to identify Jan 6 protestors and the data obtained from Epik, Gab, Parler, Givesendgo, all Thiel projects, was used to prosecute them.
- 22:40 https://www.bitchute.com/video/4Z0ZVrSoyv9Y/
- God is on Gab image credit https://twitter.com/socialistdogmom/status/1056654991547600896/photo/2