As a result of recent restrictions Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms put on U.S. President Donald Trump and other prominent conservative figures such as Gen. Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell, a pro-conservative social media platform Gab has experienced an increase in traffic in terms of both new accounts and visitors.
Gab was founded in 2016 by Andrew Torba, a pro-Republican entrepreneur from Pennsylvania. A platform based on freedom of speech
The idea behind Gab was to create a platform in which the freedom of speech and the free flow of information online will be preserved.
The main motivation for Torba was to counter the unfair advantage of mainstream social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook gave to their liberal users during the 2016 general election.
Unlike what is the case with other platforms, Gab puts little to no limitation on what the people can post.
Only pornography, doxing, and direct threat of violence and terror are types of content that are not allowed to be distributed on Gab.
As Torba emphasizes, his platform is open to people from all sorts of worldviews and beliefs, ranging from conservatives and libertarians to centrists and progressives.
A huge increase in user count
Recent bans of President Donald Trump on various social media prompted growth in the number of members and visitors on the Gab platform.
According to Torba, Gab was acquiring more than 10,000 new users per hour on Friday.
A day later, Torba announced that Gab gained more than 500,000 new users in one day, along with around 18 million visits.
Compared to a number of between 465,000 and 800,000 total users in 2018 and around 3.7 million monthly visits in 2020, these numbers present a huge boost.
This achievement is even more remarkable if we keep in mind how many obstacles against its growth Gab had to face.
Big Tech companies are at war with Gab
The biggest ones are probably the removal of Gab from the App Store and Google Play store.
In addition to that, mainstream online financial services companies such as PayPal and Stripe curtailed all the access from their platforms to Gab.
Gab joins other less restrictive social media platforms that have seen a surge in traffic since the November general election and recent blocks of accounts of Trump and his high-profile supporters.
In addition to Gab, these platforms include Parler (recently banned from Google Play and App Store as well), TheDonald, and MeWe.
This trend embodies a growing need of people to freely express themselves in the wake of pressures they experience regarding what they are allowed to say.
The restrictions to the freedom of speech that are happening these days are genuinely unprecedented in American history.
The President has not only received a permanent ban on his personal Twitter account but also saw some of his tweets from the official presidential Twitter account removed.
It is understandable how more and more people each day are switching to alternative platforms such as Gab in order to be able to raise their voice.