This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s tech or a story you want us to cover!
Gab, the free-speech absolutist social media network, has announced they’re decentralizing – and relaunching their platform as a federated network of intertwined servers.
The relaunch of their network as a decentralized, unregulated hub was done on July 4th, a nod to our country’s own Declaration of Independence. The news was confirmed by Gab founder and CEO Andrew Torba, in an interview with Decrypt.
The goal with their relaunch is to become immune to deplatforming campaigns from the platform holders in Silicon Valley, as many reports have pointed to Gab being a host of far-right or alt-right propagandists. The key thing here is Gab doesn’t want to police every user on their services.
Torba has embraced open source platforms and decentralized tech, so much so that all of Gab’s services are now forks of popular, open source platforms.
Its browser is a fork of the Brave browser (they swapped the Brave tokens for Bitcoin), Gab Social is now a fork of Mastodon, and all the servers are interconnected, meaning users from one can follow users from another and receive content in their own servers.
Coming from this, anyone anywhere in the world will be able to set up their own Gab Social server and set the rules for whatever content may appear on their server.
This, coupled with all the core systems built on top of existing platforms that millions use across iTunes, Android, and more, essentially makes it impossible to deplatform Gab any further. Apple, Google, or whomever would have to ban all the open-source apps they use, too.
To avoid any further hiccups, Gab is also expecting to raise $10 million in a Series A funding round, via their own website. Investors can use Bitcoin to buy shares in Gab, what the network is cutely referring to as “free speech money.”
The goal with the crowdfunding is to expand their team and build out Gab’s infrastructure, at both the hosting and processing/payment levels. Torba noted that his goal is to integrate Bitcoin and Lightning Network across all of their products.
Torba noted the move to decentralize was to ensure they did their part to “decentralize the web and ensure that freedom, digital sovereignty and privacy come first.”