Gab Open To All (No Invite Required)

Last time I posted about Gab, I was offering invites that I had. About two weeks ago, Gab came out of beta and went public (delayed update but life has been busy). Thus, you don’t need an invite any longer just head over to Gab.ai and setup an account.

Be sure to review last month’s post about the platform if you want to see some initial impressions. Note: going public will likely greatly help bring viewpoints into balance.

Finally, with Gab’s public release, this is likely the last post I’ll write on the platform. Check it out, bring a thick skin and enjoy!

Impressions of Gab

I was an early adopter of Gab.ai and have been on it for about eight months now. Twitter’s Orwellian SJW policies prompted me to leave their platform. I left happily never to return and toyed with my own microblog (on WordPress) as a means to keep track of articles etc. that interested me. Somewhere along the way, I read something about a platform truly dedicated to free speech (with expected exceptions about threats, illegal activities, and fraudulently impersonating another). I took the leap and gave it a whirl.

The Good

Gab.ai really does adhere to full free speech. No opinion is censored. Rather than the staff flunkies (ala Twitter) dictating what you can or cannot say or view, you are entirely in control of that (you can mute/filter users, subjects, hashes, keywords).

Discussion is very open and allows as much engagement as you want. I have also appreciated the larger character count (300). That allows users to put a few more specific thoughts and tends to allow posting of full URLs (rather than the shortened ones) so you know what you’re clicking on.

The platform is clean, easy to read and interact with others. It is continually improving and becoming more user friendly. Developers are very responsive to user suggestions as well.

I’ve had much more engagement on Gab than I ever did on Twitter. Overall, I’ve enjoyed my time there despite not agreeing with many other users (more on that below).

Room For Improvement

I’m not going to go into any technical bugs/dislikes as the platform is still in beta and changing rapidly enough that whatever gripe I put up now will soon be moot or outdated. Rather, I’m going to address potential threats to the success of Gab.

Ironically, the adherence to free speech may be, for now, Gab’s greatest obstacle to overcome. The dominant user group is ‘alt-right’. There is also a contingent of vocal racists (note: some are ‘false flag racists’ who want to discredit Gab) as well as a contingent of Russia-apologists and/or propagandists. Frankly, that is expected as several of those folks are those who’ve been chased off/banned on other sites so, of course, they’ve gravitated where they won’t get kicked off. Thus, a greater than normal user proportion of them are on Gab.

Meh, their presence doesn’t really bother me – Gab allows people to be fully open about who they are so you don’t have to guess (they don’t need to put on a fake veneer to avoid getting booted). As a result, you know who your are talking to, who to avoid and filter out, and who to engage with. Clarity is a good thing and I see that as an potential opportunity to change minds and outlooks (even if it is a long shot).

During my time on Gab I’ve noted other viewpoints joining and slowly beginning to balance the other groups out. However, this influx seems to have plateaued a bit and needs to continue for Gab t have longterm sustainability instead of only being able to draw a niche audience. Plenty of Gab users have noted this and the developers are certainly aware.

Basically, the aforementioned groups can ‘poison the watering hole’ for new users who don’t understand Gab’s mission nor make the connection as to why there currently is a larger than normal proportion of these groups on the site. It’s easy to see the problem but solving it may be a tough nut to crack (I wish I had a suggestion here). If developers can find a solution and entice greater numbers of users, we’ll see the proportion of the above groups dwindle to typical levels.

End Notes

That briefly sums up my current impression. If free speech appeals to you and nanny organizations controlling content you view/post does not, click here and request an invite. I’ve got plenty right now but give me a couple of days to get it to you as I admittedly stink at checking my inbox.

Final note: I am biased in that I am not a big fan of social media and limit my time on it. I like topic related discussions but even those are best done in person. Real relationships are personal, not digital. I understand that social media may be waning (another possible problem for Gab). That’s a good thing. Hopefully, we all will put priorities where they belong, set aside the gadgets and take the time to actually talk and interact in person family (and friends). There is simply no substitute for such.

UPDATE: Here’s another perspective from a Gab user: Why You Should Join and Use Gab.

Gab Beta Invites Open To All

Update: Invites sent, be sure the check your spam folder. A couple of invites still available.

A few day ago, I posted that I had some Gab.ai invites to hand out and was allocating them with a preference for liberal signups (libs – if you asked for one, they’ve been sent out so check your email  and spam folder, if you don’t have one contact me again ASAP).

Enough time has passed now and I still have some available so they are now up for grabs for whoever wants them – no preference, just first come first serve. To request an invite:

…click the “URContact” link above or right here with an email address you want the invite sent to.

Before requesting an invite, please review the first invite post (Gab Invites Available) so you understand what Gab is and what to expect. Again, regardless of what part of the political spectrum you lie on, thick skin is recommended.

How To Move Apps From One Google Account To Another

Totally off topic for this blog. I’m just putting this up here for future reference and for other people looking for an answer.

I had a couple of Google accounts with apps associated with them and couldn’t figure our how to transfer the apps from one account to a different one as I planned to close/delete the first. Everything I could find with searches said that it can’t be done and you basically had to have the two accounts associated with your device. I really didn’t want two accounts so I stumbled onto a work around (at least for free apps*):

1. First figure out which apps are associated with the account you want to get rid of or not use (ie which apps you want to move to your new account. You can use your play store app on the device to do this or log into the play store from your browser and use the My Apps tab to view what you have.

2. Remove the Google account you don’t want to use on your device (go through the settings to do this – plenty of instructions on the web for this).

3. Log into the play store via browser (not on your device). Go to each of the apps you noted in step 1 and click install. A message will confirm that the app will be installed on your device and after acknowledging this message, the app will be listed as “installed” (the app won’t be downloaded, rather, the system will recognize it is already installed and add the app to your account). You can also verify this by going to the My Apps section and the apps you ‘installed’ should appear in it.

4. I would give it some time and verify that you added still update when the developer/play store release updates. If so, go ahead and delete the unwanted account.

That’s it. It worked for me.

*NOTE: I did this with free apps (paid apps were already installed on the correct account). You can try the above with paid apps but I have no idea if it will work and if those apps will receive updates.

Gab Invites Available (Liberal Preference)

Update: Invites open to all (no preference). See: Gab Beta Invites Open To All

I’ve been on Gab.ai for a several of months now. The platform is still in beta but has a vastly growing user base. They have now allocated invites for us to hand out.

I have some and if you are interested in receiving an invite, click the “URContact” link above or right here with an email address you want the invite sent to.

That said, there are some things to know for the sake of full disclosure. First, to know more about Gab, see this post (lots of platform improvements since then too like ability to edit). Next,  as I noted in that post:

Most folks are libertarian, conservative, and some so-called ‘alt-right’ but there’s a growing contingent of lefties who are also unimpressed with double standard free speech. Everyone is welcome as long as your goal isn’t to suppress another’s speech (a thick skin is a plus).

Given the still early stage of Gab’s existence coupled with established social media’s animosity towards conservative, libertarian, and ‘alt-righters’ (alt-rights? alt-rightarians?…whatever), those groups comprise the majority of users. As expected, there is a distinct but gradual change with increasing numbers of centrist and center-right folks who value an real free speech platform. Liberals are still coming in lesser numbers (and are a small minority right now). Thus, if you are a liberal interested in free flowing debate (and not to troll* or shut down speech), I have some invites reserved just for you.

Have at it!

*As with any site, trolls will come and there’s a range of trolls from traditional to false flag trolls (put extremist crap up to discredit the site and/or try to intimidate others away) along with the ‘regular’ sets of conspiracy theorists and fringe types you find everywhere. Gab’s advantage is there’s no capricious ban hammer so the fringe folks can ‘be themselves’ rather than faking who they really are. It makes it fairly easy to weed them out if you don’t want to hear from ’em. Per Gab’s mission, it won’t block them as it gives you the capability to filter out any account you please.

Edit: Made some edits for clarity and completeness.

The Good And Blessed USA

Today’s a day of reflection. It’s amazing that 15 years have passed since Islamic terrorists killed so many in their twisted hate.

I just want to say I wish people here would think about how wonderful we have it here in the US. I’ve lived in several nations where true poverty exists and real walls to fulfilling your potential exist. People here seem oblivious to this and seem intent on seeking absurd reasons to be miserable and make a hobby at finding fault where none exists. Many spend more time trying to scapegoat their own shortcomings rather than identifying a path forward and pushing passed (or blowing up) any real obstacles ahead (usually of their own making and control).

Sure the US has screwed some stuff up along the way (surprise – men are fallible). Some of that still has effects today but this nation was established on divinely inspired principles the provide for a freedom of opportunity. If those principles are adhered to, the path is open to success for all should they choose it, and work for it.

We seem to be losing the vision and nefarious sources will attack it. I pray that we return to the foundations of liberty and opportunity, that we don’t get sucked into Pyrrhic solutions to false disparity. Take the time to look on history, the real misery of nations (past and present) and sacrifices made for us. The US is a righteous nation and one to be proud of. Let’s not blow it.

Finally: A Real Free Speech Platform

Earlier this year, I  effectively ditched Twitter and will ultimately terminate my account there. I don’t think I’ve used it for months now*. As I said back then, I was not interested in providing content to a provider that claimed to be all for open dialog but they turn to censorship and double standards when someone disagrees with their worldview. Heh, I still smile when I think of their “Trust and Safety Council” seemingly pulled from an Orwell novel.

So for a while now, I’ve been using my own microblog. Meh, it’s ok and it let me keep a list of stuff that interested me with a couple of quips added in for fun.

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who walked away. A few weeks ago I heard about gab.ai. The platform is much like Twitter and is in beta (more info on gab.ai). The libertarian developer also wanted a real open discussion platform. Thus, gab.ai was born.

I’ve been playing on  Gab.ai (hence fewer posts on my microblog) and it’s been awesome. Yep, it’s in beta but continually improving. Most folks are libertarian, conservative, and some so-called ‘alt-right’ but there’s a growing contingent of lefties who are also unimpressed with double standard free speech. Everyone is welcome as long as your goal isn’t to suppress another’s speech (a thick skin is a plus).

Head on over, what every political stripe you are, and sign up for your invite. Get ready to speak freely!

*As an aside: dumping social media for a while is fantastic! You realize how much better stuff there is to do with your time (you know, like real life relationships). I’m on Gab now but easily spend less overall time with social media fluff.