'Ello bans #GamerGate content as hate speech' called out as hoax by Ello founders

“We don’t even have the capacity to send an email when we ban someone’s account yet," said co-founder Todd Berger

James Vincent
Friday 26 September 2014 09:52

Ello – the fast-growing, ad-free and possibly-about-to-collapse social network – has been in the mainstream conscious for only a few days now but has already experienced its first minor scandals.

As well as a small kerfuffle over the status of NSFW posts and pornographic content, the site has also been accused of banning content related to ‘GamerGate’ as hate speech.

(For those not familiar with GamerGate, it’s an invented outrage that’s ostensibly about ethics in video game journalism and the representation of women in games - legitimate issues which deserve serious discussion – but which has devolved into a pointless mud-slinging contest in which only trolls and idiots are having any fun.)

A screenshot of an email from the Ello team has been the source of the trouble, appearing to show a user being banned for posting ‘hate speech’ about #GamerGate.

The screenshot, however, is fake, with Ello co-founder Todd Berger telling tech site Betabeat: “We don’t even have the capacity to send an email when we ban someone’s account yet.”

Some accounts have apparently been banned from the social network (which is still struggling to cope with the surge of interest and demand for new features) but these have mainly been due to individuals pretending to be companies or celebrities, reports BetaBeat.

While Ello’s management might getting frantic putting out fires like this, theTwitter/Ello user @tinybaby who mocked up the screenshot has a more relaxed approach, giving a succinct response to journalists trying to find out why they’d bothered to fake the email:

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