Far-Right Social Network Gab Goes Offline Following Synagogue Shooting
Gab social network temporarily shuts down after GoDaddy pulls support
- GoDaddy is the latest company to pull support from Gab, a social network popular with the far right that doesn't police hate speech and positions itself as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter.
- The web-hosting company GoDaddy gave Gab 24 hours to find another hosting provider, and Gab is now shut down until it finds another host.
- In a statement to The Verge, GoDaddy said it "discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people."
- The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that left 11 dead and six injured over the weekend is believed to have used Gab and posted anti-Semitic messages on it, including one right before the attack.
GoDaddy has joined the list of companies ending their business relationship with Gab, a social network popular with the far right for its policy of not policing hate speech.
In a statement to The Verge on Sunday night, GoDaddy confirmed that it gave Gab 24 hours to find another web-hosting service after it "discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people."
Gab's website appeared to be out of service Monday afternoon, with the homepage showing only a statement by Gab CEO Andrew Torba, who said Gab was "the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy." The statement said Gab would be "inaccessible" while employees worked to get it back online.
Though by no means as large as its competitors like Facebook and Twitter, Gab poses itself as an alternative to popular social networks and doesn't punish users for hate speech or what many other social networks would deem offensive behavior. Thus, it's become popular with members of the far right who have become dissatisfied other social networks and their terms of service, which often include rules about respecting others and not engaging in harassing behavior.
Gab made headlines this week in reports indicating that the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting used Gab and posted anti-Semitic messages there, including one right before the attack, which left 11 people dead and six others injured.
Following the shooting, PayPal, Medium, Stripe, and Joyent also blocked Gab from accessing their services.
Here's the full statement from Torba on Gab's homepage:
"Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy.
"Gab isn't going anywhere.
"It doesn't matter what you write. It doesn't matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn't matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people.
"You have all just made Gab a nationally recognized brand as the home of free speech online at a time when Silicon Valley is stifling political speech they disagree with to interfere in a US election.
"The internet is not reality. TV is not reality. 80% of normal everyday people agree with Gab and support free expression and liberty. The online outrage mob and mainstream media spin machine are the minority opinion. People are waking up, so please keep pointing the finger at a social network instead of pointing the finger at the alleged shooter who holds sole responsibility for his actions.
"No-platform us all you want. Ban us all you want. Smear us all you want.
"You can't stop an idea.
"As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.
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