Google Blacklists Free Speech Platform Gab’s Latest App

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Tech giant Google has blacklisted the free-speech focused social media app Gab from the Google Play Store, joining Apple in banning Gab users from accessing the platform using Gab-branded smartphone apps.

Silicon Valley tech giant Google has reportedly banned the free-speech focused social media platform Gab from the Google Play Store. According to a screenshot posted by Gab to Twitter, Google banned the app from the store for “Violation of User Generated Content (UGC) Policy.” Essentially, it appears that Gabs refusal to censor users’ content is what resulted in the app being removed from the store.

The tweet posted by Gab can be seen below, along with a number of links to similar apps that are still active in the Play Store and work with Gab’s servers. Because Gab shifted its platform to a decentralized and open-source architecture, it can be accessed by other apps still available on both Android and Apple smartphones, some with nearly identical code to the blacklisted Gab app.

Breitbart News reached out to Gab.com founder Andrew Torba for comment on the matter. Torba commented on and outlined the current situation with Google, saying:

Google has banned Gab’s decentralized and open-source mobile app from their Google Play Store, claiming that it has “non-compliant user-generated content such as hate speech.” The Gab android app contains no user content. It is effectively a web browser that allows anyone to connect to any one of the thousands of decentralized microblogging servers, Gab included. So by Google’s own standards, the Google Chrome web browser is also violating their user-generated content policy.

Gab’s app was forked from an open source project. The exact same code exists on the Google Play Store, the only difference is this version has Gab’s logo on it and was submitted by Gab. All of those apps with the exact same code are still up on the Google Play Store and ironically our one million Gab users can still utilize them to login to Gab.

Gab is now part of the Fediverse, a decentralized community of open source microblogging projects that are all built on top of the same open source protocol, ActivityPub. Any app that supports ActivityPub will allow Gab users to sign into Gab and get their feeds, notifications, and all other functionality. ActivityPub is used by multiple projects and by millions of users outside of Gab. Google will need to ban each and everyone of these apps in order to stop Gab.

The future of social networking on the web is decentralized and open source. Gab has been the tip of the spear in the fight for free speech online since August of 2016 and we continue to be the leading alternative technology solution to the Silicon Valley oligarchs.

We now have a decentralized and unstoppable social network, a web browser that blocks big tech trackers and ads, and soon our own free speech app store to circumvent the censorship of mobile apps. We will continue to build products that defend the fundamental human right to speak freely.

Breitbart News reporter Allum Bokhari recently reported that decentralized social media system Mastodon was also attempting to ban Gab and even shutting down users that refused to ban Gab from their servers. Bokhari writes:

Mastodon is an open-source social network that theoretically enables a decentralized network of online communities to thrive. Anyone can set up a Mastodon server, appoint moderators, and add it to the network of communities known as the “Fediverse.”

However, although its technology is built around the principles of decentralization and federated content moderation, Mastodon’s leadership leans to the left.

However, the very decentralized principles that allowed SJWs to set up Mastodon-based communities with trigger warnings and censorship on steroids also allowed free speech platform Gab to create a community based on First Amendment principles. By using Mastodon’s open source technology to provide a new mobile app to its users, Gab would theoretically be able to bypass Apple and Google’s anti-competitive bans of its original smartphone app.

The left-wingers behind Mastodon and many of the smartphone-based platforms built with the project’s software have swiftly acted to contain Gab.

To remove Gab from the Fediverse, every host of a Mastodon server would have to agree to ban Gab — as a result, panicked left-wing Mastodon users are flagging and reporting any Mastodon-based app that doesn’t agree to ban Gab. Merely by existing on the network, Gab has triggered a civil war within it.

Thanks to Gab, the people behind the Mastodon project are now at war with their own founding principles of decentralization. In abandoning their founding principles to pursue a strategy of censorship, they follow in the footsteps of the “Good Censors” at Google.

Read the full article at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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