A social media service used by the far-Right as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter has been forced to shut down after its web hosts and payment providers blacklisted the site on Monday.
The website Gab.com served as a platform for Robert Bowers, 46, who on Saturday opened fire on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing 11 congregants. Bowers used Gab to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories, and previewed his assault there just days before the event, linking Jewish organizational efforts to aid refugees with the progress of a caravan of migrants making its way through Central America.
“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” Bowers wrote ahead of the shooting. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
The site has raised concern since its founding for hosting individuals with antisemitic and white supremacist views. Federal law enforcement say they are monitoring the site amid several domestic terrorism investigations. But the founder of Gab, Andrew Torba, defended his platform as an equal opportunity space for those seeking to freely express themselves, accusing social media giants of systemic bias against conservatives.
The site is now inaccessible, but in a note to users vows to find alternative web hosts.
“Gab.com is under attack,” the website reads. “We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. We have been smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people and for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh. Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely.
“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.