Gab’s Entrance into the Fediverse

Tomorrow the Gab social network will transfer their setup to what they call the “New Gab” or “Gab Social” which is based on the Mastodon software. This is very controversial because Gab is a “free speech” social network, and thus attracts many white supremecists, Nazis, and other racist groups. Gab’s joining of the fediverse has caused many (including the lead developer of Mastodon to demand that Mastodon instances and Mastodon apps (such as Fedilab and Tusky) to block Gab from federating or being used with their applications.

Gab made their announcement about the New Gab on May 30th. and later released that they will transfer database and the Gab server to use the Gab Social software on July 4th.

Yesterday Andrew Torba gave a quick summary of what to expect:

What to expect with New Gab on July 4:

  • All of your content/followers are being moved over.
  • You will sign in with your email address and same password that you use now.
  • We will now have video uploading
  • No more downvotes or score
  • The user experience is dramatically improved
  • There are many apps on the app stores that you’ll be able to sign into. We will get you a full list.
  • Groups and DMs are still being finished. They should be done within a week or two of the July 4 launch. All of your groups and posts in groups will transfer over.
  • Gab’s code will be open source
  • Gab will have trending hashtags

source

Gab Social is available to be tested on develop.gab.com, and the source code is available on dissenter.com.

A short side note, but I find it interesting that Gab Social will support groups, since it is not a supported Mastodon feature (although it is an open feature request). I wonder if Mastodon will implement those features in the main codebase, or if they will reject it because it will be made by Gab.

Anyway, only time will tell how this will effect the fediverse as a whole. It could have minimal effect, or this situation could set a precedence for Mastodon instances and apps to block other instances. For example, the Tusky app development team has acknowledged that they are open to blocking other instances.

Note: I am uncertain on whether Gab posts to which am linking in this blog post will continue to work after the migration. If they do not, I will update them to the new URLs.