Recent trend is to shut down comment sections on webpages to avoid people actually discussing what they really think about the news article or the content so the authors can further push certain agendas or narratives without any resistance from people who aren’t just sheep, but they actually think about things or discuss it with others. Because articles and news without comment sections are pretty much propaganda material.
As a response to that, Gab, the free speech social network recently launched service called Dissenter. Essentially, Dissenter is a commenting system, almost like Disqus, but doesn’t require integration into webpage itself. You can download extension for it for all major browsers (links will be down below) and read what others are saying about certain content under an URL. If you want to comment, you have to create Gab account, but reading is fully open as is. Good thing about it is that you can browse the webpages as before and when opening Dissenter, you get a popup on top, so you can read webpage and the comments at the same time without leaving one or the other.
In a nutshell, we already had something similar, it was called “WOT” or “Web Of Trust”, until it was discovered they were selling user data to 3rd parties without user consent. It’s when I and many others ditched it. Which is a shame because the design and usability of the service was pretty good and super useful.
If webpages have comment sections, but they are censored or disabled, you can still comment on it and anyone using Dissenter, can see them under same URL. Even if webpages don’t have comment sections at all by default, you can still comment and others can still read that.
Dissent always comments under the specific URL you’re currently located, so if you want to comment on their webpage in general, you need to visit their root webpage or home page. This can be seen in Dissenter popup, so make sure you are on correct address depending on what you want to comment on, specific article or subpage or home page itself.
Idiots are already making wild claims how Dissenter is a neonazi propaganda tool, that needs to be banned and shutdown from everywhere (the same they’ve been doing with Gab platform itself), but I see a lot of value in it. Just like WOT, this can be used for anything, be it just a comment on a CNN news article without comment section, Youtube video that has comments disabled or a rating of an online store that you had negative (or positive) experience with, but there is very hard to warn others if there are no comments on the webpage itself. With Dissent, you can do that too. And no one can stop you from commenting, because it’s outside of webpage’s control. An ultimate free speech tool, as you can talk about anything, anywhere. Sure trolls and spammers will eventually start abusing it, but reading different opinions and having doubt about things is what makes you a more rational person. You don’t just read things and blindly believe them to be the truth, you read comments and research things before forming an opinion. And that’s the point of Dissent. Grab it and check out what people really think about things online.
Download Dissent browser extension (and source code):