Consistently, the biggest obstacle for Gab has been taking payments.
The self-proclaimed “free speech social network,” widely criticized for hosting hate speech, incitements to violence and Nazi sympathizers, had already been refused service by PayPal and Stripe. More recently, a turn towards cryptocurrency payments ran into trouble when both BitPay and Coinbase declined to process payments for Gab, and Coinbase banned the personal account of Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba.
Some Gab supporters were enthused by a tweet posted on January 6 from Gab’s official Twitter account, which seemed to imply that Cash, the bitcoin-friendly payment app from Square, had decided to restore Gab’s access to the service.
However, a source familiar with the matter told BREAKER that this is definitively not the case.
In a conversation with BREAKER staff, the source confirmed that all known accounts belonging to Gab had been deactivated by Square, and would remain deactivated for the foreseeable future.
While it is possible that an account linked to Gab was unknowingly re-opened, the source said that Square would also pro-actively delete any new accounts that it learned were connected with Gab.
Though Gab and Torba were keen to present the account reactivation as a PR win, it seems likely that it was either done in error or simply showed an old screenshot.
While the Gab website remains online thanks to the support of domain registrar Epik, it’s the continued blows to the wallet which have the greatest impact on its ability to spread extremist speech.