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Social media has become embedded in many people’s lives that it’s hard to imagine life without it. Platforms like Jack Dorsey’s Twitter have emerged to offer users an online network to share their opinions and views on the internet.
Unfortunately, many centralized social platforms are ramping up efforts to censor dissenting views from users.
This growing fact-checking escapade has made many social media users distrustful of platforms that stifle free speech. For instance, thousands of Thai Twitter users ditched the network in May of this year, citing privacy concerns.
Here’s a look at why members of the crypto community should seek alternative social platforms like Gab.com, which stand for the free flow of ideas.
What is Gab.com?
Founded by Silicon Valley-based Andrew Torba, the Gab platform establishes itself in the social media sphere as a platform that focuses on free speech. Since coming onto the scene in 2016, Gab has been the go-to platform for political dissidents and liberal content creators searching for a censorship-free social platform.
The platform’s content guidelines and algorithms differ from major social networks such as Twitter and Facebook due to its focus on free speech. For this reason, many folks in the crypto community who value their privacy and stand for the core value of censorship resistance find this platform appealing.
As per the website’s April 2020 SEC filings, Gab had well over 1.1 million new cumulative registered accounts and 3.7 million global monthly visitors.
The platform forked Brave Browser in April 2019 after its browser plug-in that enabled comment sections on any website was rejected by Firefox and Google Chrome. Gab has since launched its open-source, free-speech-focused web browser called Dissenter.
Other top websites and service providers have also removed Gab from their respective platforms citing objectionable content, hate speech, and even support for terrorist factions. For instance, Google Play banned Gab, along with crypto payment processors like Cash App, Coinbase, and BitPay.
In 2018, Gab came under fire for apparently promoting and encouraging violence against people in the wake of the Pittsburg shooting. Its hosting provider, GoDaddy, subsequently banned the social website and payment providers PayPal and Stripe.
Is Gab.com Taking Social Media Back from Big Tech?
Despite facing massive objection from mainstream platforms for its dogged defense of free speech and personal liberty, Gab.com continues to attract users to its platform.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Torba explained that his disgruntlement with the existing social platform’s content moderation policies was his primary motivation for creating Gab.com.
The site now offers users a platform to post views and ideas prohibited on big-tech social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Critics of the social platform often dub it as “an echo chamber for right-leaning content dissemination.” However, there are claims that Gab is unmoderated are overstated since the platform prohibits violent discourse and threats, child/illegal pornography, spamming, doxxing, amongst other illegal activities.
Torba asserted in his email that Gab is not for any particular group of people, political leaning, race, beliefs, but rather a platform where anyone can express their views.
Why Crypto Enthusiasts Prefer Gab To Twitter
Twitter came under fire a few days ago after reports emerged that they had altered their algorithm to reduce access to a trending news piece from the New York Post. The platform opposed particular views in the article and banned all users’ ability to share the post.
Media outlet WSWS earlier exposed this censorship practice in a post that showcased how Twitter’s backend administrative tool includes features used to blacklist or shadowban users.
Twitter faces constant criticism for its censorship efforts, particularly by the crypto community, which stands for the free flow of information online.
The Ethereum CEO, Vitalik Buterin, shared his disapproval over Twitter’s ongoing social media censorship in a May 29 tweet. Likewise, Gemini exchange co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss spoke out against the fact-checking escapade.
The crypto sector flourishes on social media platforms for years now, and attempts to ban dissenting views threaten the industry’s core values. For this reason, many in the crypto community seek social networking platforms built on the blockchain; these platforms allow them to connect and share ideas without fear of being muzzled.
Gab experienced the growing trend of disenfranchisement for people and entities with views against the mainstream media narrative. In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine, the platform’s CEO lamented that social de-platforming of “politically incorrect” content creators is now reaching beyond the social realm and into the financial.
“We are going to see the censorship and no-platforming start to shift into banking and payment processing even more going forward, which is why bitcoin is so important and will remain important,” he stated.
Gab CEO: Bitcoin is Free Speech Money
Torba’s alternative social media network works to create an avenue that facilitates the peer-to-peer transfer of value between content creators and their audience.
Gab sees Bitcoin as a censorship-free avenue to facilitate commerce and incentivize content creators disallowed on mainstream platforms. Gab has accepted BTC donations since its launch in 2016 and continues to champion the use of digital currency.
Torba introduced Bitcoin to Gab users in 2019 after top payment processors decided to stop offering their services to the site.
“Bitcoin is free speech money. Its censorship resistance is its greatest value-add, in my opinion. It makes sense for the free speech company to support and use free speech money,” Torba explained.
The CEO affirmed that BTC offers content creators a way to participate in commerce on the internet, even after facing bans from mainstream social networks.
Gab.com offers a haven to content creators whose ideas are unwelcome or prohibited by pro-censorship social platforms. According to Torba, such individuals have massive audiences willing to support them and shouldn’t have to ask for permission to engage in commerce.
The Gab CEO predicts that content creators will continue to leverage his platform as a frictionless and censorship-free revenue source. As the next level of censorship ramps up on big-tech social platforms, bitcoin’s use of social media cases is likely to increase.