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Gab is back in business after finding a payments processor willing to work with the alt-right

The "Twitter for the alt-right" was kicked off PayPal, Venmo, Square, and Stripe, but now it has "Second Amendment Processing."

by Tess Owen
Jan 23 2019, 4:14pm

Gab — often described as Twitter for the so-called “alt-right” — has finally found a payment processor that’ll take its business.

On Tuesday, Gab announced it has partnered with a Michigan-based company called “Second Amendment Processing,” which describes itself as “designed specifically to help gun dealers and gun businesses," or anyone "who has trouble processing due to being a high-risk business.”

The news signals a reversal of fortunes for the company, which was banished by mainstream Silicon Valley last October, joining the ranks of numerous far-right and white nationalist personalities who were also banned from using payments providers like PayPal, Venmo, and Stripe.

Coinbase, a cryptocurrency payment processor, cut ties with Gab over concerns that it’s a platform that encourages hate speech. Earlier this month, Square’s Cash App, also a cryptocurrency processor, followed Coinbase’s lead and froze Torba’s personal accounts.

“After months of work, we are finally back up and running 100% after being unilaterally no-platformed off the internet in October,” Gab wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Gab, founded in 2016 by Andrew Torba, a Trump-supporting entrepreneur was thrust into the national spotlight last October after a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh left 11 dead. The shooter, it turned out, was active on Gab and like many other users, regularly posted violently anti-Semitic and racist sentiments.

Silicon Valley scrambled to cut ties with the company in the wake of the massacre. In addition to payments companies, web hosts GoDaddy, Joyent and Medium, also cut ties, leaving Gab without a domain, without a host, and without a way to process payments from dues-paying members.

Unlike Twitter, Gab relies on premium subscribers who pay for a service called “Gab Pro,” which includes features like the ability to conduct a 50-person group chat where messages are deleted after 24 hours, and a live streaming service, “GabTV.” Subscribers are currently invited to make payments in bitcoin: $59.999 a year, or $500 for life.

Last March, Gab claimed to the SEC that it had nearly 400,000 users, about 4,000 of whom were paying for “Gab Pro.”

On Oct. 28, days after the shooting, Gab went dark – briefly displacing its members, but a week later, it was back, having migrated to Epik, a Seattle-based domain registrar, whose CEO criticized Silicon Valley for its "digital censorship” of Gab.

Second Amendment Processing did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

Cover: Pepe the Frog is a common white supremacist meme. (Photo by John Rudoff/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)