Gab is a new free speech platform created in reaction to the increasing censorship of other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. "Freedom of speech but with limits" has become the new normal, and conservative and libertarian voices have increasingly been attacked and squeezed off these platforms because the limits imposed are usually progressive ones.
I am an outspoken, opinionated person, but I didn’t realize how much I was restraining myself and carefully choosing my words on other platforms until I ventured onto Gab. I am not talking about foul language, but about what I say and how I say it.
I write for New Zealand’s most popular blog and even though we are known for being controversial by mainstream media standards, we are still very conscious of the consequences if we choose to cross certain lines.
These lines were drawn by the left wing media and the social justice bullies that infest social media. We have suffered a hack, boycotts, death threats, harrassment of our advertisers and much more because of our opinions.
When I tried out Gab for the first time it was as if a weight had been lifted. I felt like shouting from the rooftops all the things I would get attacked for saying elsewhere. On Gab, instead of abuse, I got likes and my Gabs were reposted. In just over a week I had more than one thousand followers. Everyone was supportive and friendly. I felt like Alice stepping through the looking glass. On Gab, I was welcomed and given information on how to use it. The experience was so novel that I voluntarily became a Gab greeter myself.
I have always been a very reluctant user of Twitter and have not enjoyed the experience at all. I dipped my toes into the toxic waters simply to get ideas for blog posts and to monitor politicians and media sites. I am not alone in my dislike of Twitter and I think that is because while I value free speech, I do not like to participate in a hostile environment.
Gab provides an environment that allows people to troll and to be hostile but it also allows the rest of us to say all the things we want to say without fear of being banned. The mute button and the ability to censor what we see in our feed makes Gab the perfect blend of free speech and censorship. The power is in our hands, not the corporations.
Juana Atkins @spanishbride www.whaleoil.co.nz