Shouting into the Void: A Database of the Alternative Social Media Platform Gab
As social media platforms have increased their role as content moderators, alternative social media platforms have emerged with fewer rules and policies on moderating content. One such platform is Gab, a social media platform similar to Twitter that champions free speech with minimal standards on content. Early research has linked this platform with alt-right, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and other alternative content that is sometimes marginalized in mainstream social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In an effort to provide a means for researchers to study this platform, we introduce a database of 37,012,061 posts (with additional edit histories), 24,551,804 comments, and 819,957 user profiles webscraped from Gab between August 2016 and December 2018. In this paper, we outline our data collection process, describe the data, consider the ethics of our data collection process, and provide suggested avenues of inquiry for researchers interested in analyzing our database.