By Spencer Kellogg | UNITED STATES
With the increased scrutiny that has been aimed at conservative and libertarian voices across all social networks, Twitter and Facebook alternative GAB has represented a safe haven for free speech advocates. The telecommunication and social networking site is often decried by major publications as “alt-right” but their mission, from the start, has been to offer an internet zone where people are judged on the merits of their ideas instead of the implicit bias of buzzwords often used to eliminate and denounce opinions that sit beyond the pale of polite, politically correct conversation. In its relative infancy, the site has become ground zero for right-wing voices that are blacklisted, whitelisted, and pitchforked into obscurity by an anti-open speech mob mentality present within all major social network outlets.
GAB’s mission from the start has been to create a peer to peer, ad-free, censorship proof social network. On their website – https://www.startengine.com/gab-select – interested users and investors can reserve participation in The Exodus Protocol which seeks to implement GAB’s open network ideas through the blockchain. “Our vision is to evolve beyond one application by empowering developers from around the world to build on top of an open peer-to-peer social media protocol. We are calling this the Exodus Protocol and will be building on top of existing open sourced peer-to-peer technology to create a new peer-to-peer social media protocol of our own.”
According to an SEC filing obtained on Thursday, GAB has decided to throw their hat into the crypto ring. Sold at a value of $5 per coin, the $10 million dollar SEC regulated ICO is set to launch in August and will represent a little more than 16% of the company’s equity (SEC Application). With a hard cap of only $10 million dollars, GAB is standing strong against the ICO gold rush that has burned many investors. They are valuing their company at a fair rate and are taking the proper steps to ensure that their investors are protected and treated fairly. GAB has long stood in opposition to the wild west mentality of ICO’s that has seen some investors become millionaires overnight while others have lost substantial value after buying into unregulated and massively overbought and overhyped projects in their infancy. Oddly enough, the free speech platform has been one of the only advocates for performing a sanitary ICO that is completely above board and regulated within the current standards of SEC compliance.
In October, GAB posted an outline of their reasons behind performing an above-board ICO (The World’s First Reg A+ ICO): “In light of these dumpster fires of risk and problems, Gab has been exploring the road less traveled with ICO’s: regulation and SEC compliance. Gab seeks to build for the long-term future, not pump and dump on a get-rich-quick scheme or provide some sort of liquidity for Venture Capitalists and their LP’s. Our goal is to empower people and defend free speech and expression on the internet at all costs.”
In April of 2017, GAB was denied inclusion on the Google Play Store, a move that they saw as a violation of federal anti-trust laws and indicative of what we have come to see as the common practice of anti-speech throughout all major social networking platforms. With the increasing centralization of internet applications and forums, the decision to outlaw GAB on the Google Play Store poses serious ramifications to the free speech startup as many everyday internet users are kept from accessing the site. From Gab’s website: “While Gab’s fight against BigTech’s control on speech may not immediately topple the giants, it is a critical first step in showing that these companies cannot arbitrarily use their market power to stamp out pro-free speech competitors. As mainstream social networks continue to censor certain views and crack down on what they choose to be ‘objectionable content,’ consumers’ hunger for alternative platforms will only continue to rise. In addition, the trend of ‘cutting the cord’ will also continue as the popularity of streaming content over the internet increases. “
On Thursday morning, Coindesk got wind of the news and published an incendiary title of “Alt-Right ICO?” This led to an avalanche of debate on Twitter and other social media outlets with GAB pointing out that their CTO is a Turkish Muslim and that the characterization by the leading cryptocurrency website was harsh, unfair and bred with all of the contempt and mistruths we see daily in the left orientated media. Oddly enough, cryptocurrency is a theoretically right-wing economic venture yet much of the media that covers the space is happy to retain the same left-wing social goggles that consistently seek to destroy the relevance of any outsider free speech. GAB posted screenshots of their discussion with Coindesk as the writer of the essay defended their clickbait title by suggesting GAB does include “alt-right” voices in their forum.
Here we can see the implicit bias of the academic elite who scorn and misrepresent any voices outside their ivory tower mentality. By this very standard, we could easily call Twitter a ‘communist playground’, or Facebook a leading ‘socialist forum’ given the content posted by users of the site. Furthermore, how can we see the actual true user base of a free speech platform when the platform itself is attacked incessantly and literally hidden by Google from the majority of internet users?
In the SEC filing, GAB outlined their core principles: “We empower creators, support free speech and defend the free flow of information online. We stand for bringing folks together of all races, religions, and creeds who share in the common ideals of Western values, individual liberty and the free exchange and flow of information. Our mission is to provide people with the tools they need to create and shape their own experience.”
Doesn’t sound very “alt-right” to me…
Image from The Verge.