The New Internet Is Coming And Silicon Valley Can’t Stop It
The current infrastructure of the internet is centralized in the hands of a few key gatekeepers who have increasingly become a destructive force to innovation and the free flow of information online. We believe that the time is now to start over: to truly decentralize the entire infrastructure of the web and to protect the future of this amazing technology for generations to come.
Our vision is to create an incentivized communication protocol that empowers any developer or creator to build on top of a decentralized and censorship-proof online community without the need for any middleman or gatekeeper.
In the coming weeks we will be releasing a white paper and several posts outlining our vision, our mission, and our roadmap. For now, we’d like to share a brief introduction to the framework of the new internet.
500 years ago, in the 1500s, the Spanish conquistadores reached Latin America. The Spanish at that time had the most centrally controlled feudal kingdom in history. When they reached the Incas — what did they do? They said “take me to your leader”, shot and killed the emperor and said “I am your new emperor”. Incas conquered in less than 5 years. Aztecs in less than 5. Mayans in less than 5. The Spanish had placed themselves as the supreme leaders of century old empires in less than a decade. They just replaced one centrally controlled power structure with another.
Some years later, the Spanish conquistadores reached Baja California and came across the Apache tribe. They said “take me to your leader” — but the Apache had no leader. The Apache warriors were allowed to follow whoever they wanted whenever they wanted. If another tribe’s leader seemed like a better person to follow, an Apache warrior just picked up his stuff and followed the new tribe… or set up his own tribe. The Spanish heard about a warrior called Geronimo who had many followers. They chased him and chased him and eventually captured Geronimo. The warriors just split into groups with new leaders. Each time the Spanish captured a new “supreme leader” they found that there were 20 new warriors that became leaders of warriors across the Apache nation. 200 years went by and the Apache were still unconquered.. Source
The Apache are comparable to Gab. Two opposite systems — centralized (command and control, rules) and decentralized (no clear leader, no hierarchy, no headquarters; open system, distributed power; flexibility, shared power, ambiguity.) Geronimo never commanded an army. Rather, he himself started fighting, and everyone around him joined in. Our goal is for other freedom loving citizens of the world to build on top of the Gab communication protocol and continue in the spirit of what Gab has started in pursuit of liberty.
Gab was launched in August 2016 with the mission to “to put people and free speech first.” This philosophy is not radical. Until a few years ago, major social media companies made free speech a core principle. Twitter called itself “the free speech wing of the free speech party.” In 2013, the New York Times explained, “Twitter has deftly built something of a reputation for protecting free speech, even unpopular speech.” It had no rules against “hate” until April 2015.
Twitter was not alone. YouTube initially declined requests from the Obama administration to remove a controversial anti-Islamic video, which provoked riots across the world. Reddit initially declined calls to censor controversial or vulgar content, and only begun to ban “hate speech” in 2015.
However, over the last few years, the vast majority of major social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Medium, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as Google’s social media applications YouTube and Google+, have adopted “hate speech” regulations, which many believe are used to censor controversial, but respectful opinions on hot button issues such as immigration and crime.
Concern of ideological based social media censorship is not limited to the Right. For example, the progressive non-profit Pro-Publica has argued that Facebook unfairly censors content from Black Lives Matters supporters.
Gab’s founders Andrew Torba and Ekrem Büyükkaya agreed with these concerns and also saw them as a business opportunity. Every user upset about Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, or Facebook censorship was a potential user. As Torba explained, “there is a very clear market need,” for the “millions around the world do not feel comfortable speaking freely or using social platforms that extort users for their data and profit, while at the same time censoring their ideas and influencers. It’s not just conservatives either, we are attracting a diverse group of people who all want one thing: to speak freely online.”
Gab was founded to restore the values that these Silicon Valley giants once held. Contrary to the claims of many antagonists, Gab is not an “Alt Right,” white supremacist, or even a conservative social network. From its inception, Gab’s express mission has been to be appeal to people of all races and political persuasions who support the free flow of information.
As Torba said upon its launch, “Gab is not FOR any particular group of people, political leaning, race, beliefs, or anything. Anybody is welcome to express themselves on Gab.” Its founders’ backgrounds manifest this worldview. Torba is a conservative Christian. Büyükkaya is a Kurdish Muslim who personally opposed President Donald Trump’s campaign. Utsav Sanduja, Gab’s Chief Operating Officer and Global Affairs Director, is a practicing Hindu and an Indo-Canadian.
Gab started as an ad-free social news site for creators who believe in free speech, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online. We believe that the free and open internet as we know it is under attack and it’s time to take the spirit of the movement that Gab has started to the next level. It’s time to give users control of their personal data. It’s time to make an ad-free experience that puts creators first.
It’s time for a new internet.