Gab Funding

Gab funding data made public by SMAT!

All of our records of Gab users who are funding Gab are now PUBLIC by SMAT in Excel/CSV formats but those fields (is_pro, is_donor, is_investor) are also available through our API. This article summarizes some of the key findings and the data itself.

What is Gab?

The research cluster iDrama, that SMAT has worked with, first published a scholarly paper on the “alt-right echo-chamber” Gab, in February of 2018. Since then, SMAT has collected around 63 Million posts on Gab over the last 5 years. 

Our Gab activity peaks in the month surrounding the US Capitol coup attempt with around 1.3 million posts from December 3rd to January 10th. We found extensive calls to violence, both targeted and more general, against politicians, minorities, and journalists among others. This is on the same website that has played host to many hardcore white supremacist paramilitary networks such as The Base.

By far the most active group in the election period was the Qanon group administered by Neon Revolt, with “thedonald”, and “Stop the Steal” close behind. In DMs released by DDoSecrets we also found Neon Revolt seemingly having the ability to offer users free pro accounts in addition to other insider behavior alluding to power in the organization.

There were also various real world shout-outs to Gab in election worker intimidation demonstrations such as in this one in Phoenix, Arizona.

Snapchat screenshot from pro-Trump election worker intimidation demonstrations stating “Get on”

After deplatforming efforts following Gabs connection to the Tree of Life Synagogue attack, Gab adopted a more decentralized or P2P approach, using the Mastodon server federation technology, in order to maintain resilience. This makes the platform even less accountable to public or political pressure though it is still hosted by Cloudflare (like Kiwi Farms).

The Goods

SMAT can now release preliminary analysis on what financial information can be gleaned from public documents and recent Gab leaks (of which SMAT ingested everything public that we did not already have). This release was compiled from user profiles and should be nearly complete as of the time of the leaks. Gab had a tiered investment phase in which they raised over $1.7 million in what shows in our records as only 486 investors whose accounts have been linked to their investment.

Even their supporters seem dubious stating: “Statistically, the company will not succeed.  Legally, the owners could dilute your shares to such a worthless level that even if Gab does succeed, you would still have lost money.”

They additionally raised around $6 million in an Initial Coin Offering (also on Start Engine). They filed for it with the SEC in 2018 but later withdrew. Though they do record some crypto earnings which could be compared against all associated wallets.

SEC filings showing around $30k in cryptocurrency earnings in 2018-2019

All of the investors were public already but made more searchable through the Gab leaks. Additionally, through studying their most recent SEC filings we were able to gain greater insight into their massive continuing revenue loss. The entirety of their filings can be found here.

SEC filings showing net loss increase to nearly $750,000

We additionally found over 3,946 accounts marked as donors and around 18,000 paid “Pro” accounts including numerous hardcore white supremacist organizations and individuals such as VDare and Stefan Molyneux as well as pro-rape “activists” such as Roosh V. The paid Pro accounts, while not specifically donors, nonetheless account for parts of Gab’s income and as such are included in this funding investigation. Of curious note, over 50 of the paid Pro accounts were linked to email addresses. 

Gab Pro tiers starting at $99/year with “Lifetime Patriot” generously reduced from $7,500 to $500

All of our records of Gab users who are funding Gab are now PUBLIC by SMAT in Excel/CSV formats.

The data is composed of accounts with fields that show whether the account is an investor, donor, or pro account which can also be confirmed on the accounts actual timeline on Gab. There are 21,160 users in the table. The data does not show how much each Gab user has paid into Gab. However the spreadsheets are sorted by how popular the given Gab donor, investor, and/or pro account is based on their number of followers.

The most followed accounts with Pro status are as follows, but note that Gab does offer free Pro accounts to some aligned figures:

While the first three are Gab associated accounts with Pro status and are unlikely donors the rest each tell an interesting story. The Donald Trump account was made by Gab and “held” in case he wanted to join. Neon Revolt is, of course, an infamous Qanon leader whose account is marked as Donor, Investor, and Pro. The Prison Planet and David Knight accounts are both Alex Jones linked conspiracy accounts. The account just called “Ron” is linked to Ron Watkins, former 8chan linked administrator who went on to grift the Qanon and election “fraud” movements. The sign-up details link Ron Watkins to this corporation Bytesec Limited. National File is, yet again, a conservative conspiracy website. Revolver News Official is a conservative media account that has a “Gab TV” account. Their account has sign-up information suggesting it is run by the white supremacist and Trump supporter, Darren Beattie. Mike Lindell is the infamous Qanon pillow tycoon who is on a divine quest to overthrow Biden’s election. RedPill78 is a Qanon talk show who interviewed a Qanon congressional candidate and discussed his involvement in the January 6th coup attempt and is listed as a Donor and Pro account. The rest such as Joe M, IPOT1776, and TRUNEWS are all… Qanon conspiracy accounts.

Looking at the Donors and Investors alone we see less famous names other than Andrew Torba’s supportive father Bob Torba.

Gab Donors horizontal bar graph

Gab Investors horizontal bar graph

You can also find Gab data through our API that is tagged with these same funding fields as listed in the spreadsheet. As white supremacist, conspiracy, and other harmful content propagate, digging out their funding streams becomes increasingly important to saving lives. Check it out and let us know what you find!