AyeNay uses a proprietary process in order to function. While the engine under the hood is advanced, actually using AyeNay is as simple as texting or using social media.
At this point in AyeNay development, we are using the Gab.ai platform. More on why we chose Gab below. We will be expanding to using WordPress and Disqus discussion. We’ll integrate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, an online forum, and other robust social media, as well as faithful standbys such as email, texting, and telephone; and innovative approaches such as integrating Zello and teleconferencing. And we won’t neglect a PR campaign: getting covered by media, working on Google SEO, community listservs, online forums, and so on.
The following are some notes about the choice of Gab.
Many online companies have agreements that they require a new user to agree to before the new user can use their platforms. For example, Disqus has a hate speech policy. Here is a quote from it: “Language that offends, threatens, or insults groups solely based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or other traits is against our network terms and has no place on the Disqus network.”
I totally respect that. Disqus is a real company, with real office space, with real people in it, real servers, etc. They have every right to set rules for those who come into their “digital home”. It is enshrined in law that a man’s computer is his castle.
But Disqus house rules disqualify Disqus from being a suitable app for a project that seeks to create a space for ALL speech. We will use the Disqus discuss feature, since it is a great way to involve a number of people in a roundtable discussion. But it would be folly to base a business on a service that says it can and will shut people out for the views they have.
The AyeNay Project must set a high standard for speech un-enforcement. Just as governmental bodies in the United States cannot infringe on free speech, so, too, an all encompassing citizen project to participate in government must adhere to principles of free speech, including the guarantee of speech that may “offend, threaten, and insult”.
The thorough interplay between voters and candidates, between elected officials and constituents, requires a “town square” that permits ALL legal speech. Gab is such a place and is thus suited for our purposes.
Which is not to say we won’t set our own standards for discussion. In fact, we will limit speech that we find to be coarse, for the mere sake of damaging someone’s reputation, or that is false.
Now that we hopefully understand why Gab is the AyeNay default platform, let us follow Mr. Plainer as he joins and participates in AyeNay. If you haven’t met Mr. Plainer yet, you can make his acquaintance in the AyeNay story.
Mr. Plainer owns a smartphone with Internet access, courtesy of City Councilmember Lae Dock. The phone has many features. Plainer texts with the phone. He browses the Internet with the phone. In particular, he has an account on social media website Gab.ai.
To be sure, Mr. Plainer finds much of the content on Gab.ai to be distasteful. Still, being put off by offensive posts — which he finds are mostly avoidable with a little effort — is a small price to pay for upgrading life in Softwine City.
Mr. Plainer participates in AyeNay through the smartphone.
This morning, Mr. Plainer received a text from AyeNay. “Do you support or oppose the Aquagear Bill?” the text read. Click here to vote.