We’re at war. You might have not realized it yet, but you are a pawn in a culture war. On this specific battlefield, conservatives and libertarians are fighting leftist “progressives,” socialists, and neo-Marxist communists. This leftist collective wants to destroy one of the West’s most critical democratic values: your freedom of speech. They want to silence any dissident voice and make George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia a reality. This is not an exaggeration. The free flow of information online is in danger, as leftist-dominated tech companies are now actively censoring conservatives and libertarians. Luckily, dissenting rebels can again speak freely on a new community platform that truly respects freedom of speech. Welcome to Gab.
The War on Free Speech
The political left in the West – supported by leftist Big Tech companies – has been continuously eroding your rights, and especially your freedom of speech.
We are at the point where daring to question the massive, uncontrolled immigration of the third world into Europe and North America leads to being labeled a “xenophobe.” You are concerned about the factual overrepresentation of certain demographics in violent crime statistics? Congratulations, you’re a “racist!” If you oppose the leftist narrative, you’re automatically a “Nazi.” If someone even feels slightly offended by your words, you have committed “violence in the form of hate speech.”
In every case, leftists will go out of their way to vilify, harass, and even physically attack you in retaliation.
Of late, this assault on free speech is also rampant in the digital world. Major tech companies in Silicon Valley have been purging conservative and libertarian voices from their platforms in a massive censorship campaign.
The Digital Stasi
For instance, Facebook has been censoring conservative websites for some time now, while its CEO Mark Zuckerberg conspires with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to actively suppress posts and accounts critical of the European refugee crisis. And let’s not even discuss Facebook’s complete disregard for your privacy.
YouTube employs the Southern Poverty Law Center – a known far-left extremist organization – in its Trusted Flagger program in order to police content on their website. The SPLC has routinely labeled multiple conservative organizations as “hate groups.” If you consider yourself to the right of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and their ilk on the political spectrum, this extremist group will not hesitate to dox, harass and slander you. YouTube also just recently started another censorship campaign by banning a lot of gun-related content and creators. Second Amendment supporters, hunters and competitive sport shooters are therefore no longer allowed to use YouTube to create and share content on this subject.
Twitter is the worst of them all. Its employees have been caught admitting that they actively ban conservative accounts, read all your direct messages and also look at all the “private” photos you send. If you expose pedophiles that use Twitter to share child pornography, you get banned while the pedophiles themselves are left alone. At the same time, ISIS terrorist supporters, anti-white racists, and leftist comedians on a homophobic rant are all tolerated on Twitter, but if you are even a tiny bit right-wing you have got to go.
Many people are fed up with the hypocritical double standard by these digital Stasi. They are leaving Facebook and Twitter in search for better alternatives.
Say Hello to Gab.com!
Gab can fill this void. Previously known as Gab.ai, this social network was created in 2016 by a small, dedicated team as an alternative to Twitter. Here’s how the creators of Gab describe their product:
Gab is an ad-free social network dedicated to preserving individual liberty, the freedom of speech, and the free flow of information on the internet. A free and open internet is essential to the future of a free world. Freedom is creative. It produces. It generates. From freedom flows truth, beauty, wisdom, and growth.— CEO Andrew Torba
I’m proud to be one of Gab’s original members – joined in August 2016 – while the website was still in beta and only accessible upon invitation. I’ve seen it grow from a buggy website to a professional community platform with a lot of interesting features. I’m truly impressed what Gab’s CEO Andrew Torba and his team have achieved in such a short time.
Minor bugs still pop up here and there, but are getting rarer with each major update.
Unlike Twitter, you have a longer character count (i.e. 300 characters). Gab also has an edit function – gone are the days where you had to delete a post because of that one minor grammatical error. You like certain content creators and want to support their work? On Gab, you can directly tip them and throw a couple of bucks their way. Like Reddit, you can upvote or downvote posts. Gab also features user-controlled chat rooms and private messaging.
There are also no ads on Gab. In the early days, volunteer members gave donations to the Gab team in order to fund the project. Now that its user base has grown, other options have become available.
For starters, members can upgrade their free basic accounts to a Gab Pro account for $5.99 per month. This grants access to more features like extended character counts and the ability to make premium content. You can also purchase merchandise on the official Gab Store. Serious supporters of Gab’s mission can even directly invest in Gab shares via their Regulation A+ Security Token Offering. To date, the company has already raised over $5 million.
Gab also has an alternative for YouTube. Enter Gab Videos, where every member can share video content. Standard Gab accounts receive 500 MB per video for free. Gab Pro creators get an upgrade to 1 GB per video and the ability to livestream.
But most importantly, Andrew Torba and his crew firmly commit themselves to protect your freedom of speech. In fact, he insisted that all are welcome on Gab, no matter your ideology or viewpoint. Nobody will silence or censor you. You are truly free to speak your mind.
There are just 3 simple rules:
- Illegal pornographic material is forbidden.
- Do not threaten anyone with violence or incite terrorism.
- Do not expose anyone’s private information.
A negative point? The lack of a dedicated iOS app. Yet Gab is not to blame for this. The Gab team did create an iOS app, but Apple repeatedly refused to allow the Gab app on their App Store for spurious reasons. Torba thought ahead and made a Progressive Web App (PWA) for its platform. Now you just add the Gab website to your iOS home screen and voila – a fully functional PWA. You won’t notice the difference. Google also rejected the Gab app from its Google Play store for “hate speech.” But you can still directly download the Android app on your phone.
I also miss the feature to directly embed my Gab posts in my blog articles.
The “Nazi Problem”
“But what about all those evil Nazis on Gab?”
Oh, cut it out. You can find idiots everywhere you go. Yes, you can encounter some retarded Neo-Nazis on Gab. You will however find hordes more anti-white racists, Islamic terrorists and their supporters, violent communists, and other vile scum on Twitter and Facebook. Clearly you don’t have a problem with them, so why do a handful members of an extreme political fringe movement on the right suddenly concern you?
I don’t like National Socialists either. But I still don’t want them banned – neither from Gab nor from any other social media network. No matter how despicable anyone’s viewpoints may be, everyone still has a right to speak. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote:
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.— Evelyn Beatrice Hall
So suck it up, buttercup. You are treated like an adult on this social network. And you control your own experience. Gab will not act as a moderator – you will.
Think of it this way: you are in a discussion with a group of people in a public square. Do you think it is acceptable to prevent any person from speaking? Do you forbid that person from listening and criticizing your point of view? No. Only authoritarian scum would do that.
It is better to persuade your opponent with facts and logic. Or in the worst case scenario, you remove yourself from the discussion and stop listening. After all, my right to speak does not imply that you are obligated to listen.
This is a fundamental principle on Gab: you cannot block anyone from seeing your content or prevent them commenting on it. You can however mute another member, so that this individual’s posts will not be visible to you – but they are still visible to others. You can also apply a keyword filter, so certain posts will never show up in your feed.
Pros: Resolute support to your freedom of speech; no ads; control your own experience.
Cons: Minor bugs; no embedded Gab posts; lack of dedicated iOS app.
Gab.com is swiftly becoming one of the rare places online where freedom of speech still means something. On top of that, the social network has several interesting features to offer. How you control your own experience is truly unique. It is really refreshing to be treated like an adult on Gab and to be your own moderator. The lack of annoying ads is also another testament to the greater vision of Andrew Torba.
However, one of the biggest concerns is the lack of a dedicated iOS app. Apple’s continued banning of the Gab app on its App Store hampers the social network’s expansion. Gab’s PWA partly solves this issue, but the importance of having a dedicated app on the most popular app store cannot be discounted.
Nonetheless, if you respect freedom of speech and are mature enough to handle different viewpoints, Gab is the place for you. If not, Twitter and Facebook are more suitable for you. You can always join the adults later when you grow up.
Take care and until next time.
Update on 27 Sep 2018: Gab has changed its URL from Gab.ai to Gab.com. I have changed all links in this article and updated some content where needed.