Has a genuine competitor for Free Speech hostile Twitter and Facebook emerged ?

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The Free Speech alternative to Twitter is called Gab.?It is ?for digital refugees such as myself who find Twitter to be an echo chamber of left-wing opinions that are hostile to conservative and libertarian voices. Twitter recently banned Milo Yianoppolous, an extremely entertaining and witty conservative libertarian with thousands of followers including myself. I am now on the waiting list for Gab and look forward to once again following Milo.

So what is Gab and how does it differ from twitter?

Charlie Nash: Censorship has been rampant on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for quite some time now. What was the final straw that?pushed you into developing Gab.ai?

Andrew Torba: If I had to pick a single event that pushed me over the edge to take action, I would have to say it was the suppression of conservative sources and stories by the incredibly biased Facebook Trending Topics team…

CN: You?ve already attracted thousands of people who are currently waiting in line to join the social network. Has their reaction been mostly the same??Would you describe them almost as digital refugees looking to leave the totalitarian regimes of Twitter and Facebook?

AT: It?s been an incredible week, in just four days 10,000 people registered for our beta through nothing but word of mouth. Our mission is to put people and free speech first. …many progressives are also joining Gab and expressing interest in a user-first, pro-free speech platform.

CN: A few of the Breitbart Tech guys, including myself, are already over there testing it out.?Have you seen much interest in other media professionals or public figures?…

AT: At Gab we welcome anyone who wants to speak freely. One of our new users today is Kassy Dillon, a conservative influencer, who has experienced the censorship of Twitter directly. We are actively reaching out to influencers from all backgrounds who are searching for an alternative. We welcome everyone and want to encourage open, honest, and authentic discourse on the internet.

CN: You currently have a much more different approach to verification, unlike Twitter or Facebook. You?re giving the checkmark?to people who should have had it on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, like any journalist or public figure, however?were never given it due to?their politics. You?re also giving it to normal members of the?public who can verify that they are real,?even if they wouldn?t normally meet the professional or social criteria for verification on other social networks. Do?you think this will speed up the process of bringing over influential figures?and media professionals?

AT: Unlike other social networks, we don?t use verification checkmarks as an elitist social ranking system. We use them for one purpose ? verifying identities. Currently, we verify accounts if they have a high likelihood of being impersonated, but very soon every Gab user will have the ability to verify their identity if they so choose. We believe that when people verify their identity they are much less likely to harass others.

It?s easy to harass folks online behind an anonymous profile, but much more difficult to do so when your name is attached….

CN: You said in the launch post that?gab.ai?will never bow down to political or otherwise avoidable censorship, and that you?ll remain a service for the people. Do you intend on taking an 8chan-style view on content, and only removing things that are illegal or dangerous?

AT: We believe that the only valid form of censorship is self-censorship, an individual?s freedom to opt-out. Gab empowers users to self-censor and remove unwanted followers, words, phrases, and topics they don?t want to see in their feeds to help stop and prevent different forms harassment.

However, we do take steps to protect ourselves and our users from illegal activity. Our rules are very simple: no illegal pornography, a zero tolerance policy for promoting terrorism or violence, and users are not allowed to post other?s confidential information without their consent. We expect these guidelines to develop overtime and we will discuss and get feedback on these changes with the community as we scale.