If you are looking for an alternative to Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), then your wait is almost over. Gab, a new alternative to Twitter, is set to open beta testing to early adopters on Monday. Gab was started by Andrew Torba, a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who is quite confident about the future of the platform even though it is still in the development stage.

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Photo by clasesdeperiodismo, Flickr

Poaching Twitter users

In an exclusive interview with REGATED, Torba said that Gab is a people-first social network, and any person searching for a space to communicate freely online is welcome.

“While we certainly expect conservatives to be among some of the first users of Gab, we aren’t out to build an echo-chamber. We welcome and embrace open, honest, and authentic discourse. We believe that self-censorship is the only valid form of censorship that exists,” Torba said.

Free speech is evaporating online very quickly, driven by an era of politically-manipulated, ever-changing and corporate-sponsored algorithms that influence our perception of the world, said the head of Gab. He added that new media is rising, and Gab is planning to lead the way.

Colleagues and supporters of Milo Yiannopoulos, who was banned from Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) for allegedly abusing Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, were prompt in switching to Gab after it became available for exclusive testing. Torba has invited other banned conservative voices to join his platform as well. Many people are excited to express themselves without the fear of swift banning or censorship from the service.

Targeted harassment or abuse is a big issue

The Internet was in an outrage after Yiannopoulos was banned permanently from Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in July. Users spread hashtags of #FreeMilo throughout the platform, but nothing came of it. Responding to Yiannopoulos’ banning, Twitter said people should be able to express diverse beliefs and opinions on the platform, but no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online. The micro-blogging giant made it clear that its rules prohibit engaging in or inciting targeted harassment or abuse of other users.

At that time, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) also said it had seen an increase in the number of accounts violating these policies over the past 48 hours, and it has taken enforcement action against these accounts. The social network concluded saying it has either warned the users who are violating the policies, deleted the tweets or permanently suspended the users.

On Thursday, Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares closed up 3.89% at $19.78. Year to date, the stock is down more than 11%.