Alt-Right free speech platform Gab will release a forked version of the Brave Browser “within weeks”. The move has left Brave fuming at Gab’s “parasitic’ behaviour.
A preview of the Dissenter web browser. Oh yes, we did. https://t.co/a2nG1EFJbX
— Gab.com????Dissenter.com (@getongab) April 22, 2019
Free speech browser powered by Bitcoin
Dissenter is a “free-speech browser” said Gab CEO Andrew Torba. It will eventually become a “free-speech marketplace and app store that is powered by free-speech money, Bitcoin.”
Brave now pays users 70% of the ad revenue for watching ads. Gab, meanwhile has struggled to find its own sources of revenue.
Not tolerated well by the tolerant
Gab is famously tolerant of the sort of hateful speech that gets users banned from Facebook and Twitter and in turn, Gab is frequently barred by other Silicon Valley services such as web hosts and payment processors.
The heat has been turned up on Gab since both the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and the Christchurch Mosque shooter both turned out to be avid users of Gab’s Twitter alternative.
I wouldn’t belong to a company that would have me as a member
Companies that have so far denied service to Gab include Paypal, Stripe, Square, Cash App, Coinbase, Bitpay, Microsoft Azure, Joyent, GoDaddy, Apple, and the Android store.
They have “denied us service, all because we refuse to censor user-generated content that is within the boundaries of the law,” Torba said. (Payment processors frequently do this to other ‘legal-but-immoral’ businesses as well, leading to other crypto use cases such as the sex industry).
Browser extension booted off Chrome and Mozilla
Answer this: what kind of parasite forks an open source browser to get an extension distributed to people who can already work around silly AppStore bans?
Brave is for users who dare to take back control of their data. Some who wants a detached comment system can use Dissenter.
— BrendanEich (@BrendanEich) April 18, 2019
Brave takes aim at Gab
Brendan Eich, the CEO and co-founder of Brave, appears none too pleased about the fork, writing on Twitter:
“Answer this: what kind of parasite forks an open source browser to get an extension distributed to people who can already work around silly AppStore bans?. “Brave is for users who dare to take back control of their data. Some[one] who wants a detached comment system can use Dissenter.”
Ironically, he also said Brave would not ban the Dissenter extension.
Everybody’s forking doing it
Torba told Decrypt that Brave is open source and was itself a fork of Google Chromium:
“Open source projects are forked all the time… I can’t imagine any legitimate reason why Brendan or anyone else would have a problem with this.”
Bitcoin’s links to alt right
As the leading decentralised cryptocurrency, Bitcoin can’t be censored or shut down. That makes it an appealing way for the far right to fund their activities or seek donations (and lots of other people too). White nationalist Richard Spencer actually called Bitcoin the “currency of the alt-right.” The Southern Poverty Law Centre maintains a page where you can track all their transactions.