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Politics

State Sen. Dan Bishop Invested In Controversial Social Network 'Gab.com'

N.C. State Sen. Dan Bishop wrote on Twitter in August 2017  that he would be invbesting in Gab.com.
N.C. State Sen. Dan Bishop wrote on Twitter in August 2017 that he would be invbesting in Gab.com.

Mecklenburg State Senator Dan Bishop has drawn criticism over his decision last year to invest in Gab.com, the social media platform created as an alternative to traditional outlets like Twitter and Facebook — and that critics say has become a home to white supremacists.

The alleged shooter in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Robert Bowers, made numerous anti-Semitic posts on Gab, and the site has been temporarily shut down.

In August 2017, Bishop wrote on Twitter that he would be investing in the new social media startup.

“So, I'm about done with SF (San Francisco) thought police tech giants, and so ... I just invested in Gab.”

In a post on Twitter Wednesday, Bishop said he invested $500 during a crowdfunding effort. He didn’t return phone calls from WFAE Wednesday.

The North Carolina Democratic Party said in a statement that Bishop "must disavow the hateful rhetoric promoted by Gab and divest from the platform immediately. Any silence goes to show that he shares these abhorrent views."

Bishop is running for re-election in Senate District 39 against Democrat Chad Stachowicz. Stachowicz released a statement that said Bishop was "funding a platform for hate speech."

In Gab’s annual report from March, the company said it had nearly 400,000 users. It said that in 2017, it raised $1.07 million from investors.

Bishop's Tweet didn't attract any attention 14 months ago. But after the Pittsburgh massacre, Gab has been criticized, and Bishop's investment was first reported by The Daily Mail of London Tuesday.

In the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, Gab has been under fire for allowing hate speech to flourish. It’s also become home to white supremacist Richard Spencer and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has been banned from Twitter.

At the time Bishop invested, Gab described itself as a champion of free speech. And a number of conservatives were upset at Twitter and Facebook’s recent decision to ban what the companies called “hate speech,” believing it would create a slippery slope that would target Republicans.

Since the shooting, Gab.com has been taken down. The company provided a statement that said it has worked with the DOJ and FBI to “bring justice to an alleged terrorist.”

“In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy. Gab isn’t going anywhere”