Friday, February 10, 2017

the Twexit

More and more people are leaving Twitter, variously named "Twatter" and "Sick Blue Pigeon" by the haters. Thanks to my buddy Mike, I'm on Gab AI (see feed link on sidebar).

My impression thus far is that it's true that Gab is a freer community in terms of unrestricted speech. That said, I don't think the lefties are wrong to view Gab as a sort of "safe space" for righties. The point of the leftie criticism is, of course, that righties are usually the ones who mock the concept of a safe space, and yet here's Gab, which acts as a haven for righties who feel harassed and oppressed.*

As I predicted, I haven't been anywhere near as active on Gab as I used to be on Twitter. Gab is still in beta, a fact that's obvious once you're there. The interface is ugly and clunky, and there aren't anywhere near as many functions available to you, the user, as there are on Twitter. You can't self-retweet, for one thing, and you can't retweet-and-comment, for another. On Gab, both "like"s and "dislikes" are visible (I don't think you can down-vote on Twitter), but they're not shown separately, as on YouTube: instead, you see only a single number of "points" that equals all "likes" minus all "dislikes" for a post. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Gab's two main advantages are (1) the freedom-of-speech thing (although speech is still policed there), and (2) the 300-character limit when posting. Aside from that, I'm finding it a bit boring, but maybe that's because I haven't posted enough to have any social momentum—not that that's my goal on Gab. In fact, I'd say my only goal on Gab is simply to explore the environment, build a humble network, and let whatever happens happen.

As Gab improves itself and becomes more of a challenger to Twitter, expect more people to jump ship. Whether the Gab newbies become a welcome addition or bring their onerous, Twitter-related mental baggage with them is something that only time will tell.

*To hear Gab tell it, the space is open to people of all persuasions, so in theory, everyone from Twitter—except the thought police—is welcome to leap over to Gab. In other words: while lefties might mockingly say Gab is a rightie safe space, Gabbers would counter that Gab is an open forum for all—as open as an omnisexual public restroom. Personally, I have yet to see any liberals on Gab, but I admit I haven't been searching all that hard.

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