Social Media Site Gab Sues Google Over Play Store Delisting

Social media website Gab filed a lawsuit against Google in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the Alphabet-owned company removed the platform's Android app from the Play Store under the false pretense of combating hate speech, consequently violating the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 and Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. Gab summarized the contents of its lawsuit in a recent article published on Medium, stating that Google acted in an anti-competitive and monopolistic manner by removing its app from its digital marketplace under the pretext of hate speech but by basing its claims on third-party content.

Gab remains adamant that its platform is open to people of all races and from every background, so long as they share Western values and ideas, particularly the concept of a free information flow. The company's lawsuit accuses Google of stifling a rising competitor which is a direct alternative to its own social media services - Google+ and YouTube. The latter is alleged to be competing directly with Gab TV, a video streaming service which the firm launched on August 1, several weeks before its app was pulled from the Google Play Store. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant previously sad that Gab was delisted for lacking a level of moderation that was deemed "sufficient" for a social media platform of its kind, citing its long-standing developer policies. Google said Gab was welcome to revise its practices and appeal the delisting using official channels, whereas the firm says it opted for a more aggressive approach because it believes its case is important for the future of online free speech in general.

Gab is a microblogging platform similar to Twitter and managed by a company of the same name operating from Austin, Texas. The service allows users to send messages up to 300 characters in length and was launched in August 2016 as an alternative to what its creators deemed was a social media landscape which was too left-leaning. The service exited its beta testing phase this May, not long after its App Store listing request was rejected, with Apple citing "hate speech" as a reason for not wanting to feature the iOS version of the service. Twitter previously blocked Gab's API for an unspecified reason and the network which enjoys some popularity among the loosely defined alt-right demographic is currently primarily funded by its premium "Pro" subscriptions.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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