According to a report by BREAKER Magazine, Cash App, a payment platform owned by U.S. based firm Square, has held up its decision to block the corporate account of Gab, a controversial social media site. The confirmation comes in the wake of a Twitter post by Gab, where it implied that the payment app had reinstated the company’s account.
Gab’s Less-than-Perfect Reputation
Gab has always prided itself as a safe place for people to express themselves. Since its launch in 2016, it has gained worldwide notoriety, seen by many as being an incubator for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists. Many people with these views have found a haven in Gab, after being banned from more popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter for violating the platforms’ rules regarding hate speech.
Although the site has faced its fair share of criticism as well, its supporters have come out in their numbers, demanding for sections of the Internet where there is no moderation, which they believe would preserve the right to expression and the freedom of speech.
Mass Shooter’s Post Causes Increased Scrutiny
The social media platform has had to endure quite a few torrid months of late, as complaints continue to grow about the refusal of the platform to moderate what was seen as “hateful comment” on its website.
Back in October, Stripe, as well as a number of other web service providers like GoDaddy and PayPal, stopped providing services to Gab after discovering that Robert Gregory Bowers, the perpetrator of the October 2018 mass shooting in Pittsburgh, had put up a post on the site, declaring his intention to kill right before he went on with his attack.
The management of the platform complained, pointing out that none of these service providers penalized Twitter and Facebook, even though the shooter posted on there as well.
Gab Turns to Crypto
Gab’s business model runs on revenue from donations and subscription to GabPro, its premium service.
In a bid to provide a seamless process for donors and subscribers to fund the platform, the Gab site turned to crypto assets, as traditional platforms like Stripe and PayPal had refused to process payment for the site.
The Coinbase Ban
However, in December, both BitPay and Coinbase closed the corporate account of Gab, with many people particularly seeing Coinbase’s desire to maintain its reputation as being the primary reason why the action was taken. This week, Coinbase followed the closure of Gab’s account by terminating that of its co-founder Andrew Torba as well.
In the wake of Coinbse’s closure, Gab seemed to find a payment solution in Square’s Cash App, after the social media site posted a tweet that implied the restoration of its access to the Square service.
However, after multiple investigations into the matter, it was confirmed that Gab’s account with Square was still closed and that the payment platform didn’t have any plans to reactivate it anytime soon. Gab was said to have violated section 3 of Square’s terms of service, which expresses a prohibition on the use of Square’s services for the promotion of “harmful or hate products.”
Terms of Service Violations
Gab isn’t the only web-based platform to have its account suspended over terms of service violations back in April 2018, Coinbase suspended the merchant account of WikiLeaks over a similar reason. The anonymous international publishing platform announced the action in a tweet, while also stating that it would call for a blockade of Coinbase.