With Facebook censoring conservative groups like ‘Occupy Democrats Logic,’ and Twitter banning conservative users like Milo Yiannoplous, Wikileaks has threatened to begin their own social network based off of free speech, creating new industry demand for a censor-free network.
A new social media network, in response to the demand, has recently surfaced for conservatives that are unhappy with the existing social media giants, named Gab.ai.
Displaying on their main page a quote on free speech from British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, they seem to be taking a stance in the worldwide debate on whether offensive speech is free speech.
This quote is a particularly powerful statement for their site, considering that Rushdie was targeted for assassination attempts by Muslim religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini after publishing his fourth novel entitled Satanic Verses, which exposed parts of the Quran that may be used for satanic worship.
Similarly to Twitter, users will be able to write short 300 character messages called “Gabs” which can be up or downvoted by users. Content will be rated on these votes, and displayed in a chronological information feed. This feed will be populated with the Gabs of users that you choose to follow, similarly to both Facebook and Twitter.
According to a press release on Regated.com “Gab will empower users to self-censor and remove unwanted followers, words, phrases, and topics they don’t want to see in their feeds. Self-censorship is the only true form of individual liberty and free speech online in an era of corporate-sponsored, politically manipulated, and ever-changing algorithms that are driving our social feeds.”
- An ad-free subscription service, claiming that adblocker plugins for your browser may not work in the future.
- A system that monetizes content to reward the best content creators
- A direct message system
- A news service managed by artificial intelligence
- A ‘trending’ system to notify users of popular content and phrases
- Perishable Gabs that disappear after a set amount of time
Whether or not this company will be able to compete with the social media giants at first is difficult to predict, but there is undoubtedly huge demand for a “conservative-friendly” social network. Having reported on several instances of bias and abuse towards conservatives, I certainly share in the hopes that this network will become a powerful tool for us to express ideas.
Currently, I stand 9,000th in the line for an account. If you’re interested in getting a notification when the site is up and running, click here to go to the sites main page and sign up.