Gab, the fringe social network known for housing many far-right and white-supremacist members who have been banned from other platforms, is suing Google. The lawsuit alleges that Google is employing anticompetitive practices by banning it from Google Play. But it also alleges a lot more.
In the 40-plus page document, which does try to prove Google’s monopolistic tendencies, Gab’s lawyers also go on a tangent about political correctness and the supposed censorship practices of Google and other platforms. It’s a real doozy of a document.
In one section it talks about Google’s funding of the New America think tank, which recently fired scholars who were critical of the company. Later on it discusses Google’s firing of James Damore as proof that it silences dissent, and then ends with insane sentence:
Google, then, had a considerable “soft” incentive to use the Charlottesville “moment” as cover for eliminating Gab from the Play Store, an action that it likely considered inevitable because of the violent protests and activism directed against “hate speech,” monuments of dead generals and any symbol of institutions associated with conservative or extreme right-wing messages, which for all practical purposes were elided into one.
I’m still trying to parse through it, but you probably get the gist. Instead of taking the pure anti-monopolistic stance, Gab decided to make its lawsuit into an ideological crusade against the hypocrisy of Silicon Valley and “political correctness.”
Good luck with that!
Update: Google provided Fast Company with this comment:
This claim is baseless and we’re happy to defend our decision in court if need be. In order to be on the Play Store, social networking apps need to demonstrate a sufficient level of moderation, including for content that encourages violence and advocates hate against groups of people. This is a long-standing rule and clearly stated in our developer policies. This developer is welcome to appeal the suspension if they’ve addressed the policy violations and are compliant with our Developer Program Policies.