That Vox v Gab think Explained as Best I Can

Q: They are both suing each other?

A: I don’t know. According to Vox Day, his Legalevilofleagelleagues has filed “filed the petition in Travis County and the county clerk has approved the filing”. That would be Travis County Texas I assume as Gab’s HQ is in Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, on Gab itself, the CEO posted a screenshot saying “GAB.AI, INC., Plaintiff, vs.” which didn’t say who they were suing. As they have existing gripes against Apple and probably Google and Facebook etc that might not mean a counter-suit against Vox Day.

Q: But you hope they are suing each other?

A: Sure. I mean, this kind of internecine feuding isn’t going to solve America’s & the Internet’s problem with online far right harassment and genocidal propaganda BUT it does mean money and energy are being wasted by the far right on squabbles.

Q: So what is Vox suing for?

A: Vox basically wants the personal details of some individuals who called him a ‘pedophile’ so that he can take action against those individuals.

Q: I can’t work out if that is a good thing or not?

A: Yeah…On the one hand, people shouldn’t be defaming others online. On the other hand, these particular trolls were using a harassment technique that Vox himself has advocated. On yet another hand (or tentacle) Vox is trying to force Gab to doxx some people he dislikes i.e. force a private company to hand over personal details to a man who has openly praised terrorist mass-murderers. On yet another, another hand the people concerned appear to be extreme right trolls.

Q: So why were the trolls mad at Vox Day? SHouldn’t far right trolls love each other in trollish camaraderie?

A: Vox has been feuding with Andrew Anglin of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daily_Stormer ) Basically Vox Day thinks they’ve been too overt in their Naziness and hence he is unhappy that they are giving the game away by saying all sorts of racist/anti-Semitic things.

Q: But…

A: Yeah.

Q: But I guess it proves Gab does believe in free speech?

A: Not really. The purpose of this particular name calling tactic is to try and harass people off a given platform and/or chill their speech. Nobody is going to want that kind of accusation being made about them and so letting people use that kind of tactic online is antithetical to free speech. Basically, it just creates an environment were only the nastiest most nihilistic bullies get to speak freely.

Q: So why would Gab support such behaviour?

A: How can they not? “An environment where only the nastiest most nihilistic bullies get to speak freely” describes the Gab business model. Its role is to tap into the discontentment of right-wing trolls who find themselves shut out (slowly and inconsistently) from more mainstream social media services.

Q: You make Gab sound dystopian.

A: As a social experiment it sort of is. I don’t believe freedom from top-down rules necessarily leads to some sort of Lord of the Flies brutalising dystopia BUT if you set up a “free” community whose main customers are people with a nasty view of human nature and who are heavily invested in a distorted view of masculinity then well…that’s what you get. Essentially direct proof of how shitty the toxic milk shake of racism-misogyny-libertarianism-and-fascism is – which has always been obvious to everybody else.

Q: So who do you want to win?

A: Lawyers I guess? Hopefully, it is a long and expensive process for all parties.

Some links for future reference:

http://web.archive.org/web/20170913201752/http://voxday.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/legal-legion-update.html

 


24 thoughts on “That Vox v Gab think Explained as Best I Can

  1. I suppose VD may have just blown a few dollars for the optics of it, but if not then he’s just engaged in a very long-winded and boring process that won’t give him immediate satisfaction or publicity. That implies he genuinely wants to get at the mean boys who called him nasty names.

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  2. If Beale can be believed, which is admittedly usually a qualifier on the level of “If the healing crystals work”, the Gab v. lawsuit is against Apple, not him.

    Which is still these lunatics throwing money down a hole, so all to the good.

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  3. I had trouble parsing this bit: “it just great an environment were only the nastiest most nihilistic bullies get to speak freely.” Maybe intended as ” it just *creates an environment where* only the nastiest most nihilistic bullies get to speak freely.”? The were->where fix is needed in the next answer too.

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  4. “According to Vox Day, his Legalevilofleagelleagues has filed “filed the petition in Travis County and the county clerk has approved the filing”” – gee, why doesn’t he simply fly to Texas and do it himself…?

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    1. “the county clerk has approved the filing” is a completely meaningless statement. The clerk of court (who may or may not be the county clerk) doesn’t do anything but accept petitions when they are filed. They don’t do any kind of evaluation of the documents or anything other than make sure required filing fees are paid when petitions are submitted.

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      1. Right. Most likely Beale has just bought the services of some high-priced nuisance-suiter who has filed, collected fees for doing so, and is presently waiting for the judge to dismiss the suit. If Beale wishes, this person will doubtless file again, either in another venue or with different charges. As there are plenty of Beales in the world, who have money, but neither sense nor an actual grasp of law, it’s a fairly lucrative business. And best of all, it beats working.

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      2. He’d need to demonstrate harm, which given his past history, is going to be difficult. Further, Gab has a perfectly valid right to protect the privacy of their clients–he has to demonstrate that said-harm is severe enough to override that right.

        This is America, not the UK. It’s damn hard to win slander and libel cases here, especially over piddling matters such as this. There’s enough vagaries here so that you can file for a case, and maybe if the stars are right, it will go forward, but I suspect the judge is going to more or less declare it a waste of time.

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      3. It is America, not the UK, yes. And I seem to recall that in America, there is also a legal tradition of ‘public figures’ having a higher burden of proof to sue for defamation, mostly to prevent them from using lawsuits to silence press reporting.

        I bring this up mostly because not being a public figure might increase his odds of getting anywhere with the suit, but VD’s ego will probably not like having to not be important. The idea of VD wrestling with his ego over this is amusing to me.

        (Honestly, I figure his chances of getting anywhere are low, and only exist because Gab has presumably not done anything to the offenders in this case, making making the company potentially implicit. That said, if VD is considered a public figure, I expect those chances go away almost completely.)

        From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_figure :

        A person can also become a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, [jokes about]… Terry Rakolta [an activist who spearheaded a boycott of the show Married… with Children] were fair comments… within the confines of her public conduct [and] protected by Ms. Rakolta’s status as a “limited public figure”.

        I think it would actually be hard to argue that VD isn’t a public figure by that sort of definition. He’s actively made himself one by being his usual ‘Look at me!’ self.

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      4. Yeah but ‘pedophile’ is a claim that necessarily damages reputation. I think it would be hard to argue that it amounted to simply criticism of a public figure. However, Vox’s use of similar accusations will undermine him.

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      5. Another thing to consider is that Gab can make an excellent case that Beale’s supposed reason for wanting the names are manifestly bad faith, and that he only really wants them so he can have his minions unleash a campaign of harassment far in excess of that he himself suffered. In which case, Gab would be greatly justified in not giving them to him.

        Whether they will actually bring this up is of course, up in the air.

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      6. “Yeah but ‘pedophile’ is a claim that necessarily damages reputation. I think it would be hard to argue that it amounted to simply criticism of a public figure. However, Vox’s use of similar accusations will undermine him.”

        Sure, but aside from Beale’s “live by the poison pen, die by the poison pen” lifestyle, there’s simple fact that this isn’t a major, sustained campaign of defamation–it’s the internet version of writing nasty things on the bathroom wall. Beale is not going to face spurious criminal charges from this, and he isn’t going to lose work. Further, he apparently isn’t suing to get Gab to do the obvious thing and removing the offending posts–he’s demanding they give up clients’ names. So, while he could theoretically make a case for emotional harm, the remedy he’s seeking is well in excess of the harm done. On the whole, it looks like a weak case, badly presented.

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      7. True, but according to Beale, Gab has said they’ll only take down posts that a court has said are libelous – so he’s claiming he is following Gab’s own requirements. i.e. To get the posts taken down he has to sue the posters and to sue the posters he has to know who they are and Gab won’t tell him hence he has to sue Gab. 🙂

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      8. The reasonable thing would be to sue them to remove the posts. But as Beale and the folks at Gab are all living Dunning-Kruger avatars, we’ve got this thing in progress.

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      9. Oh, I do suspect that eventually that lawsuits will spell the end of Gab, just not this one. Much as I suspect that eventually, Amazon is going to get sick of Castalia House drama and cut them loose. I’m not certain in either case, and it’s quite possible that doom is going to come for these projects from another direction, but I consider their fairly likely eventualities.

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