December 15, 2021
Gab CEO Andrew Torba claims he’s not an antisemite, but he tells a very different story via Gab’s Twitter feed and his personal Gab account. In October 2021, Torba engaged in multiple antisemitic tirades on Twitter and Gab, posting and sharing a wide array of bigoted content. These posts – which had the potential to reach millions of people via Gab’s 390,000 Twitter followers and Torba’s 3.3 million Gab followers – promoted a range of antisemitic tropes, such as Jews having dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, that Jews are to blame for the crucifixion of Jesus and that Jews control the U.S. government.
Gab, a self-described “free speech” platform, has a long history as a haven for antisemites, extremists and conspiracy theorists. Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who murdered 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, made numerous antisemitic posts on his Gab account in the weeks prior to the shooting. Three years later, antisemitic content persists on the platform, easily accessible within just a few clicks. Well-known antisemites like David Duke, Rick Wiles and Nicholas Fuentes maintain an active presence on the site.
Gab’s Twitter account was deactivated shortly after Torba’s antisemitic tirade in mid-October 2021; it was later reactivated around the end of November 2021. While it is not known why the account was taken down, Torba has deactivated Gab’s Twitter account several times before and frequently deletes tweets. Torba’s increasing antisemitism and toxic posts demonstrate not only his dedication to enabling hate on Gab, but also to amplifying it on mainstream platforms like Twitter.
In an effort to track Twitter links out to Gab – and other potentially hateful platforms – ADL’s Center on Extremism has created a bot, which provides daily counts of these links. To see the bot in action, visit: https://twitter.com/AdlBot
Antisemitism on Twitter
In October 2021, Torba, via Gab’s verified Twitter account, shared a variety of antisemitic tweets and memes. These tweets were retweeted, liked and replied to hundreds of times.
In a series of tweets on Oct. 19, the Gab account shared antisemitic tropes about “Judeo-Bolshevism" while promoting the creation of a “parallel Christian society.” Judeo-Bolshevism is a term used to refer to the belief that the Russian Revolution in 1917 was part of a Jewish plot to enslave the world. In the 1930s, Germany’s Nazi Party used the term to promote the conspiracy theory that Jews were responsible for communism.
Following criticism of his remarks, Torba doubled down, defending his antisemitic views as being grounded in Christian teachings. “Sadly many Christians today are so afraid of being called a silly meaningless name by the world (bigot, antisemite, homophobe) that they refuse to even remotely share or discuss the Gospel in their daily lives, let alone live it,” Torba wrote. He later posted, “You reveal your anti-Christian hatred when you refer to Biblical Truth as ‘antisemitism.’”
Soon after, Torba shared a comic from far-right illustrator StoneToss, which plays into the antisemitic myth that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, also referred to as “deicide.” The official Gab Twitter account, which is likely controlled by Torba, also retweeted a meme claiming that the Talmud instructs Jews to hate Christians. Gab’s Twitter account was deactivated a short time later.
Torba’s October 19 tirade wasn’t the first time he’s used Gab’s Twitter account to share antisemitic content. On October 13, Gab tweeted praise for antisemite E. Michael Jones, calling him a “brilliant and faithful Christian man” who will be “one of the most respected thinkers of our time” when “we win.” Jones is a Catholic writer who argues that Jews are dedicated to attacking the Catholic Church and Western civilization.
On October 17, Torba tweeted a screenshot of a post from a Gab user who goes by “Kitler.” The post states that “if you’re a White person living in America today and you don’t know what happened to the kulaks in russia [sic] 100 years ago, you should look it up. Something very similar is happening to you right now, and the same group of people is behind it.” The post alludes to the belief that Jews were responsible for the Russian Revolution in 1917 and communism, implying that they were responsible for the subsequent efforts to seize kulak land and deport kulaks to remote regions of the Soviet Union. One user replied to Gab’s tweet with a screenshot of a page from Mein Kampf.
Antisemitism on Gab
Throughout October and early November 2021, Torba used his own platform, Gab, which has considerably fewer content guardrails and restrictions than mainstream sites, to disseminate a plethora of antisemitic content. These posts often include vague references to “them” or “the enemy” and are framed by Torba’s Christian faith. Below is an example from Nov. 4, where Torba reposted fellow Gab user Jacob Wohl’s “suggestion” that every Jew should decorate their home with Christmas decorations to assimilate to America’s Christian heritage. In messages responding to this post, another user suggested that Jews are in control of the Federal Reserve and that the Jewish banker Jacob Schiff orchestrated and funded the Bolshevik Revolution. Both of these theories play into tropes that Jews control the banks and that they have an inordinate amount of influence in world-changing events.
On Nov. 2, Torba himself posted that “Zionists” (in this case a clear reference for Jews) are responsible for creating the Federal Reserve and for the “subversion of American Christianity.” A respondent’s post further advanced the trope, claiming that non-Jews became “slaves of the [Jewish] tribe” due to the machinations of the Jewish Rothschild family.
How Gab empowers antisemitism on Twitter
Torba’s tweets spew toxic antisemitic canards while encouraging other Twitter users to do the same. ADL found dozens of examples of antisemitic tweets in the replies to Gab’s tweets from the past month. These replies promoted various tropes about Jews, including that Jews are “degenerate” and the “synagogue of Satan."
Ultimately, these examples show the antisemitism that’s readily apparent via Gab’s Twitter account, Torba’s personal Gab profile and the network of Twitter users replying to Gab’s social media profile as a whole. As of November 8, 2021, these explicitly antisemitic replies were still accessible on Twitter. As ADL has previously highlighted, Twitter continues to allow content that violates its own policies via links to Gab’s website, where harmful disinformation and offensive content run rampant.