We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


There are alternatives to Twitter, but it is difficult for them to gather enough users. Perhaps Gab.ai will succeed where others are failing. Its founder seems to be adept at attracting attention. This is important.

Update: Wired are calling Gab an echo chamber. This could be a bug or a feature, I suppose. Multiple such sites with various policies and good aggregation tools would not be a bad endgame.

12 comments to Gab.ai

  • Funny you should mention it as I signed up for Gab.ai earlier today as it happens. I dumped facebook years ago (after using it for a few years, in spite of its popularity I could not see the point of facebook) & I am really eager for an alternative to Twitter (as I do not like the people who run it).

  • Erik

    I think the word “pillarisation” might come in handy soon.

  • Erik, this has always been true of media. The Guardian, the Times, the New York Times, the Washington Times, the Daily Mail… these are all partisan publications that cater to people with different world views. Why should modern social media be any different?

  • Sam Duncan

    “Why should modern social media be any different?”

    Because it can be. Because the wider web already is. If my ISP chooses to block Samizdata, it’s no skin off your noses (or very little, depending on the size of the ISP), and I can switch to another, or use a proxy, to keep reading. If Twitter – or Gab – chooses to block your posts, you’re out, completely silenced to all your followers. This is why I’ve never used social media. I don’t like the way it works. It’s a step backwards, a re-intermediation of public discussion.

    Now, okay, fair play to these people for trying to break Twitter’s monopoly – competition is always good – but they’re just copying the same top-down single-point-of-failure model while promising hand-on-heart not to be dicks about it, honest injun. That’s not good enough. We need an open standard, like the web or email, for this kind of thing.

    And it turns out there is one: “As a distributed social network, Pump.io is not tied to a single site. Users across servers can subscribe to each other, and if one or more individual nodes go offline” – or start filtering posts – “the rest of the network remains intact.” I have to be honest and say I’ve never tried it, so I don’t know how successfully it implements the features that people like about social networks, and it’s been around for quite a while without gaining much traction, but if we’re serious about avoiding censorship it’s a much better bet than hoping your gatekeeper is one of the Good Guys.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I really hate sites that expect you to sign up without telling you anything about what they do.

  • but they’re just copying the same top-down single-point-of-failure model while promising hand-on-heart not to be dicks about it, honest injun.

    Well sure there are a zillion things like SeaLionClub & all the others etc etc… except hardly anyone uses them which makes them pointless. For shit like this, maybe (but only maybe) the Twitter model could be the only thing that does work (sort of ultra-light-micro-blogging). And I want Twitter, but without, well, Twitter. If the dispersed ones take off, great. Until then, I am happy for people like Gab.ai to keep trying to reinvent a better wheel. And hopefully Voat can eat some of Reddit’s lunch too.

  • Doubting Rich

    Wired has become increasingly left-wing. Of course it will oppose anything addressing Twitter’s fascist lefties.

  • Laird

    Wired has always been “left-wing”. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a useful source of information, and a reliable opponent of the panopticon state. If it isn’t perfect, well, nothing is.

  • Update: Wired are calling Gab an echo chamber

    Considering what my opinion of Wired is, I take that as an endorsement.

  • William O. B'Livion

    As of right now their “waiting list” is a BigInt length.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Seems to be down just now.

    Did the censors catch up with them already?