Gab, a free speech Twitter alternative, has finally opened to the public after nearly nine months of beta testing.
Users will now be able to sign up for the platform without waiting on a list.
“On August 15th, 2016 Gab launched into invite-only beta testing. This would begin our nine month journey to building a community unlike any other on the internet,” Gab announced. “In the wake of increasing censorship and single-sided bias from Big Social, Gab has been the shining light of hope for free expression and speech online.”
“Gab is a social network with a mission to empower individuals with the tools they need to create and shape their own experience,” they continued. “We believe human beings are born of reason, a free mind, and of sound cognition. We refuse to infantilize our users and treat them as juveniles like other social networking sites do. We are committed to free speech and expression, period.”
Over the past few months, Gab has worked to transform the platform from a basic Twitter clone into an advanced social network which Twitter has repeatedly looked at for inspiration.
Native image hosting, GIFs, quote posts, private messaging, and live streaming are all recent additions to the social network, as well as a unique payment model which allows users to optionally pay a fee monthly for extras in an attempt to keep Gab ad and investor free.
“Gab is the only social network that is 100% supported by the community, not by advertisers or venture capitalists,” the company declared in their statement. “In under nine months, 170,000 Gabbers have 7.6 million posts and raised $145,000 to help us expand our team and cover operational expenses. Make no mistake about it: we are The People’s underdog in the multi-billion dollar social networking landscape.”
Despite the fact that nearly 200,000 users have signed up to the platform, creating 7.6 million posts in under 9 months, Gab has repeatedly been denied access to Apple’s App Store.
In their second rejection notice, Apple cited “Mean-spirited and objectionable content” on the platform, adding that they “found references to religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or other targeted groups that could be offensive to many users.”
Apple also claimed that their decision was partly based on a single use of the N-word by one user, despite the fact that the word can be seen thousands of times on Twitter and other social networks available on the App Store.
The app was originally rejected by Apple for containing pornographic images posted by users, despite the fact that, again, similar images can also be found on Twitter or Tumblr.
Though Apple has banned Gab from their App Store, the social network’s app is currently available on Android.
Following a crackdown on conservatives by other social networks, most prominently Facebook and Twitter, Gab has attracted nearly 200,000 disenfranchised users, including InfoWars commentator Paul Joseph Watson, author Mike Cernovich, libertarian commentator Lauren Southern, and former Breitbart senior editor MILO, along with various other journalists.
“There are hundreds of millions of people who get their main source of news and information from a handful of companies in one of the most progressively liberal cities in the world, it’s time for a change,” declared Torba in an interview with Breitbart Tech last year. “At Gab we welcome anyone who wants to speak freely.”