Gab.ai, the free speech alternative to Twitter

Founded in 2016, Gab.ai aims to be a free speech alternative to the major social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It is a libertarian social network founded in the classical liberal tradition of John Stuart Mill and John Milton, as well as the US First Amendment. Gab supports artistic expression and actively challenges the censorship that takes place on the major social media sites.

A couple of weeks ago, the People’s Charter Foundation met with the Chief Communications Officer for Gab.ai, Utsav Sanduja. You can watch the video of the interview below:

Traditional social media outlets censor content in two main ways, via the removal of posts and de-monetisation. For example, videos that YouTube deems to be controversial have their advertising turned off and any existing revenue from that video is withheld.

In recent months, more and more people have quit Twitter, citing concerns over censorship, including actor and producer James Woods.

One of the problems with censorship is that it means you cannot educate or inform people. This means that controversial ideas fester and grow underground (for example on the dark web) which can ultimately be more dangerous.

Gab is different. With Gab, there is no shadow banning, no censoring and no rules as to what you can post (as long as it is within the law, for example promoting terrorism or child pornography is strictly forbidden). Gab does not support criminal activity and is pro law enforcement. It opposes calls for violence, pays tax and is transparent.

The individual user decides what, if anything, to filter or mute. You decide and not some administrator. You are in control of what you want to see.

Gab is currently developing its Gab TV service. With Gab TV it will be possible for viewers to donate to content producers directly, all in one application.  Advertising is on its way out – 75% of millennials have ad blockers installed in their web browsers. The future is in content production.

The founders of Gab are also deeply concerned about censorship carried out by the BBC:

People of the United Kingdom, this is the state of your country. Listen to your taxpayer subsidized broadcasting agency asking us to censor, vet, control and limit speech on Gab. For shame!
This is the great country that produced John Stuart Mill; this is the country that produced John Milton’s Areopagitica, this is the country that fought for the Natural Rights of Englishmen in the 1689 Glorious Revolution, this is the country that produced us the best warning manual against dictatorship.

–Utsav Sanduja, Chief Communications Officer for Gab.ai

Utsav believes that government censorship of online media is being used as a means of attempting to reduce competition against traditional media.

In recent years, an increasing number of people in the UK have been arrested for allegedly sending “offensive” messages via social media. In London alone, a total of 625 arrests were made for alleged section 127 offences (sending by public communication network an offensive / indecent / obscene / menacing message / matter) in 2010 – a number which had ballooned to 857 by 2015. This can result in a potential six month prison term or a fine of up to £5,000. Among the scores of those recently arrested for online posts was a Scottish resident who had used Facebook as a platform to espouse his disdain for Syrian migrants.

Recently, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans to step up control of the internet, but this does not solve the root cause of issues such as radicalisation. A recent government announcement proposes levying a tax on social media companies to help pay for police enforcement and moderators. Dangerous extremists are more likely to hang out on the dark web than on social media sites, so such a proposal would inevitably end up penalising innocent people. Furthermore, it is better that dangerous views are out in the open than forced underground where it is much harder to challenge them.

Even the App Store at Apple is showing partisanship, having rejected the Gab iOS app 8 times.

Britain has fallen. People of the United Kingdom, please wake up to what is happening to your own country.

–Utsav Sanduja, Chief Communications Officer for Gab.ai

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Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed in this article are those of the author, and not necessarily of MBGA News.

Written by Victoria Holland

I am a web developer from England. I am the blog editor for the People's Charter. I support the Brexit campaign from a perspective of democracy and sovereignty.

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