Earlier this week Gab released a new website/browser plugin known as Dissenter. Billing itself as “the comment section of the Internet,” Dissenter allows users to post comments on any website, anywhere, at any time. The comments are independent of the actual website they are being posted on, and cannot be moderated in any way by that website.
Bonus, Dissenter can sync up with your existing Gab account.
All in all, Dissenter is pretty clever, and I’ve had a blast using it the last few days. Dissenter is a breath of fresh air in an age where Big Tech censors just about everything anyone right of Mao posts online.
Not everyone sees it that way, however. The Daily Dot’s Ana Valens, a writer whose credits include “Where To Find The Best NSFW On Mastodon,” and “Kink is affirming-and complicated-for trans women,” seems to have a special hatred for all things Gab.
Valens recently penned an article titled “Meet ‘Dissenter:’ a far-right comment section for hating on journalists.” The article is a veritable hate-fest of Gab, its founder Andrew Torba, and of course, Dissenter.
Valens makes it clear exactly what she thinks of Gab in this excerpt:
Dissenter isn’t doing anything new for the internet. It’s just an extension for the alt-right, one to help them mobilize against journalists, critics, and progressive websites. That shouldn’t be surprising. If you’re really looking for a space to share your opinions without “rampant corporate censorship,” as Torba claimed in an email to Gab users, there are already plenty of alternative social media networks out there that let you share your voice as long as you aren’t a bigot. But if you’re headed to Gab or Dissenter, you aren’t there to post in good faith.
Far from being edgy and insightful, Valens simply repeats the same tired, Leftist attack that Gab is nothing more than an echo chamber for Nazis. That’s her right under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
What’s at issue is the featured image of Valens’ piece.
The image for Valens’ article depicts Gab’s long time frog mascot-affectionately known as Gabby-lying dead in the road. Gabby has obviously been run over by a car while trying to cross the street. The image is violent and provocative, and was obviously intended to be a diss on the “evil Nazis” of Gab.
The question is does this image encourage violence and bigotry against Gab users?
It’s a fair question. The Left has spent the last two years demonizing everyone on the right, especially Trump supporters. Conservatives are blasted as “Nazis” and “bigots” who would like nothing more than to herd LGBTQ people and immigrants into death camps. MAGA hats are likened to Klan hoods.
The political situation in America has gotten so bad that people are routinely-and violently-assaulted simply for having a differing political view than the Left.
I think it’s fair to assume that The Daily Dot’s
picture could encourage Leftists to go out and bust some Nazi skulls.
I reached out to The Daily Dot in an email asking for comment:
I had a quick question for you regarding the article “Meet ‘Dissenter:’ A far right ‘comment section’ for hating on journalists.” The question isn’t regarding the content of the article itself. I can tell that Ana does not like Dissenter or anything associated with Gab in general. That’s fine, as she is welcome to have and share her own opinion freely. That is, after all, the essence of free speech.
My question is about the image that was chosen for the article. The featured image depicts Gab’s long-time frog mascot lying dead on the road. The frog has been obviously run over by a car as it was trying to cross the road. All in all it is a very violent image.
What would you say to critics that say that the image could potentially incite hatred and bigotry-even violence-towards people on the right? Especially given the recent rash of assaults committed against people choosing to wear pro-Trump apparel in public.
What would The Daily Dot’s reaction be if a right-wing website distributed a similar picture to show its disdain for a left-leaning site?
I have included a link to the article in question: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/gab-dissenter-alt-right-comments/
I thank you for your time, and look forward to your reply.
Editor, Sparta Report
I have yet to receive a response from anyone on The Daily Dot’s staff.
I don’t expect one to be forthcoming any time soon.