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No gift for Gab? Twitter’s traffic is doing just fine after the “great purge”

No gift for Gab? Twitter’s traffic is doing just fine after the “great purge”
[Photo: rawpixel.com/Unsplash]

On Monday, Twitter put new rules into effect that ruffled the feathers of quite a few white nationalists. The new regulations try to curb abusive, trollish, and harassing behavior, and they resulted in a some prominent white nationalist accounts being deactivated. Those on the far right deemed this day the “Twitter Purge,” and loudly proclaimed that other social networks that allowed for their free speech would prosper in the name of this censorship.

That doesn’t seem to be what actually happened. Data from SimilarWeb provided to Fast Company shows that Monday—when the Purge went into effect—was actually a good day traffic-wise for Twitter. In fact, more people went to the site than usual, with traffic on Monday about 5% higher than the three Mondays preceding it, according to SimilarWeb.

As for a purge causing a bump to other sites, SimilarWeb says that Gab.ai–the social network for free speech (read: white nationalists)–did gain a bit of traffic on Monday, but it was not as a result of Twitter losing it. The site had prepared for a huge boost, sending out a few emails preparing users for the Purge. (I suspect that Gab’s slight increase on Monday may be due to curious people–like me–who were logged on trying to see what the conversation would be like in the wake of the Twitter news.)

And so despite loud cries from the far-right, the new rules have yet to impact Twitter.

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