Gab, the free speech-focused social network, made headlines again after Co-creator, Andrew Torba, announced plans to develop a new browser. The decision was made public after the company lost support from Google and Mozilla to host their upcoming ‘comments engine’ browser extension. Gab’s Dissenter plug-in, when live, allowed users to experience “free speech” discussions in real-time on any public URL without moderation.
The company was recently blocked on Chrome and Firefox web store on the grounds of violating acceptable use policy. The Dissenter plug-in, which sports the tagline “the comment section of the internet,” was criticized for promoting violence, hate speech, and discrimination. However, the credibility of the claims were questionable.
Following the ban, the Gab team questioned the decision through a series of tweets, while maintaining that the company’s drive of “zero tolerance policy for threats or incitement to violence.”
@getongab gained support from the online twitter community, stating,
“@mozilla claims that they received “reports”, yet they fail to include ANY examples so that we can review and take action.”
Gab further supported its extension by arguing that it helped people “exercise their First Amendment rights online,” which were supported by twitter users such as @VerGreeneyes, who called it “a politically motivated decision.”
After getting de-platformed, Torba hinted at the launch of a forked version of the open-source Brave browser in the near future. One of the official tweets also confirmed that the new browser will have “Dissenter, ad blocking, and other privacy tools built-in, along with the guarantee of free speech.” The planned fork will also focus on replacing Brave’s BAT token with Bitcoin Lightning Network integration, creating a browser that is outside of the control of Silicon Valley companies. BAT had been previously characterized as being “more empowering for advertisers than users,” by Torba.
Bitcoin has played a vital role in Gab’s business as the company has been shunned by practically every major payment processor including PayPal, Stripe, and Square. In this regard, he stated,
“We are working on [Lightning Network] integration with a very influential [Lightning Network] company, but don’t have any public news on that just yet.”
Although Gab is currently accepting credit-card payments through 2nd Amendment Processing, Torba preached Bitcoin to his user base as a way to bypass Silicon Valley giants, and Gab will continue to use BTCPay Server to process crypto payments.
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