Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dissenter?

Dissenter is the comment section of the internet. It is both a web application and an open source browser extension. Dissenter organizes conversations around individual URL's and creates a public square on them where anyone can leave a comment.

How does it work?

To get started create an account and login to Dissenter. Next you'll want to download the Dissenter browser extension, although it is not required. If you're using the Dissenter web app, paste any URL into the Dissenter box and click "Dissent This." If you're using the browser extension, simply open it on any URL. You'll be shown a commment composer, where you can leave a comment, as well as a discussion with comments left by others.

Why was Dissenter created?

Dissenter is designed to extend American civil liberties protections for political speech to every corner of the planet, and allows people to express themselves on any subject, at any time, on any url, in a manner which is or would be permissible under U.S. law. Ideally we can accomplish this goal and empower hundreds of millions if not billions of people around the world to say what they want to, when they want to, how they want to and keep the internet free and open.

Moralizing censors, whether they are in governments, media conglomerates, or in the upper echelons of Silicon Valley tech companies, have no business telling anyone what they can or cannot say. A free-to-use publishing platform that allows people to dissent from orthodoxy and express what they are really thinking, without fear of reprisal, is essential to the functioning of any free society.

What can I comment on?

Anything. Seriously. Try it on Wikipedia, news articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, Amazon products, and even individual tweets. If the site you are on is Not Safe For Work (NSFW) please be sure to check the NSFW box in the comment composer.

Does the browser extension track every URL I visit across the web?

No, the browser extension does not track you across the web. We respect your privacy and value your trust. The Dissenter browser extension is open source, meaning any developer can confirm that it is not tracking you across the web. When not in use, the extension is idle. When you click the extension, it calls to the Dissenter servers to check if there are any comments on that URL. When you leave a comment, that comment is sent to our servers and recorded on the URL.

How do you moderate comments and what are the rules?

Where a user's speech is legal under U.S. law, it is allowed on our site. Our rules protect the expression of any viewpoint that is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They do not protect speech that is or would be illegal or actionable in the United States. Copyright infringement, illegal pornography, malicious defamation, spam, and true threats are not protected by US law and may be moderated or result in a ban. Borderline cases are reviewed by an independent attorney to ensure we are adhering to our First Amendment-based moderation principles. Moderated posts will transparently let users know that they have been removed for violating our Community Guidelines.

Dissenter is a comment publishing platform, so it's impossible to use the platform to cause physical harm to another person. If a user uses the platform for an illegal purpose, for example publishing a credible threat of violence, and we are made aware of it, we will take action and cooperate with law enforcement if necessary. Where a user publishes content constituting a civil wrong, such as copyright infringement or defamation, we may be served with a takedown notice or court order which would compel us to remove the content. We treat our users like adults and give them a lot of latitude. It is up to our users to not abuse that latitude and to stay within the confines of the law. You can read our full Community Guidelines here.

Full disclosure: the Dissenter browser extension is currently listed on the Google Chrome and Firefox extension store. Google has content rules around "hate speech" which require any software in the Chrome store to not link to hateful content.

Dissenter does not police content on the basis of viewpoint, even where those viewpoints are extreme and highly offensive. This continues to be the case. However, Google/Mozilla are private businesses and as such, under U.S. law, they currently enjoy broad discretion to choose what content apps on their extension stores are permitted to link to.

In the interests of continuing to be able to distribute the extension through the extension stores, we have made the decision that the current and any future version will not display posts containing a small and select list of approximately 20 highly offensive racial epithets.

Who made Dissenter?

Dissenter was built by Gab.com, a free speech software company that powers the free speech social network Gab. Gab is funded and built by people just like you with a mission of defending free expression online for all people. Everyone is welcome on both Gab and Dissenter. The company and the products do not endorse or hold any political ideology. We are building technology products that preserve liberty and freedom online for all internet users around the world.

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