At the request of one of the welcome volunteers at Gab, I made a video sharing my thoughts and methods for personalizing Gab. Thanks to a hostile-to-free-speech press Gab has a terrible reputation and most people who join are surprised that it isn’t what they’d been led to believe. Many people are also unsure and hesitant – intimated even – because they fear what they will find there. I’ve shared much of this here in the past, but the video is simply a succinct, easy way to get a feel for the reality of what Gab is, and how to personalize it to one’s more delicate tastes.
I’ve had a few hundred views since I posted it 5 days ago, and considerably fewer comments of course, BUT those comments run the gamut in showing what kinds of people use Gab. There are those who appreciate my input, those who think Gab should only be for the toughest of the tough, those who ridicule the ones who choose to use Gab in other ways than spewing hate and rage (just because they can, it seems to me)…in short, people have the freedom to say anything (that’s legal!) on Gab. And it occurred to me as I scanned the comments that they are the perfect picture of what we find in a free-speech environment, which is exactly what we used to find anywhere people convened and talked to each other, or wrote articles and letters, or opined on TV and radio: the freedom to say what they thought and felt and believed without fear of reprisal. From anyone. Which is the pure definition of free speech, which comes with responsibility. Which is why I appreciate every single of these comments – to me they are a celebration of what Gab is!
One always hopes that consideration and manners are practiced nonetheless, but, like teenagers being left alone for the weekend the first time mom and dad go away together, many Gab users use their freedom to say dirty words, eat ice cream for breakfast, and refuse to take a shower, figuratively speaking.
Of course that same freedom gives those of us who love Gab but choose not to mingle with those who are offensive to us (and judging by a couple of these comments, who also consider “kinder, gentler” Gab users offensive) the liberty to be kind and gentle there. Freedom is a beautiful thing! I’m solely responsible for what I do and say and you are solely responsible for how you choose to respond; nobody’s feelings negate the voice of another. Back in the day – the first 200 years of our nation’s history – when this was how freedom worked, the vast majority of people used good sense and decorum when they addressed others both in choosing their audience and in choosing their words. Not because they weren’t free to do otherwise, because they – we – all were. But because we were raised right.
At any rate, it is interesting to see the responses to my video, if you read them I hope that you’ll share your own thoughts with me as well!