It was called, “Dissenter” -basically, your browser would generate a tab on every webpage you land on and when you click it, a comment section would open up, visible and open to anybody on the internet, and which the website author would be unable to remove.
From one of the early announcements:
"Gab, the social network that defends free speech online, has just launched Dissenter – a game-changing browser extension and web app that’s going to create a comments section for the internet which can’t be censored.
“Dissenter can create a Gab-based comments feed for any page on the internet. Since these comment feeds are hosted by Gab, they can’t be removed, edited, or hidden by the individual website owners. This means you can comment freely and enjoy the full protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
I thought it was a brilliant idea, but half the world went absolutely insane. You can guess which half. This was during the height of “safe spaces” and “words are violence” and all that. The idea that people might be talking about you behind your back, (while not using ‘your’ pronouns) was utterly unacceptable. Thought MUST be controlled.
Gab was Shut. Down. Servers failed and anybody who even considered hosting the add-on/app was immediately punished. I believe it escalated to credit and bank account freezing, all within a couple of weeks. -And interestingly, nobody remembers, (it took me twenty minutes of head scratching to pull up the information. The whole thing was hard memory holed.) In any case, Dissenter was Not Going To Happen.
Personal theory: Censorship was far too important. I am almost convinced that the CIA et al were immediately alert and quick to pull the plug using every frontline “What? But that’s not us” control surface they had running.
After all, this was 2019 and information warfare was about to go hot. A popular universal commenting app on every webpage which could not be controlled by the author…? That could have changed everything.
But yeah, abuse would have been part of the mix, for sure. The CIA bots would have had to have gone into overdrive to keep things under thumb. Psychopaths and Trolls would terrify people, Mobs would learn how to weaponize it, commercial interests would get involved and IP would be violated. And for a while, light would be shone on dirty laundry. In the end, it would have provided another example of the internet mirroring biology; you can’t stop the existence of viruses and mosquitoes, so immune systems need to evolve as a matter of survival.