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A far-right social network called Gab has been pulled offline after the Pittsburgh shooting

October 29, 2018

Gab, a social network popular with the US far right and used by the gunman who killed 11 people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, is down after host GoDaddy gave it 24 hours to move to another provider.

Facilitating hatred: Robert Bowers, who attacked the synagogue using an assault rifle, used Gab to post anti-Semitic messages in the days before the attack. Gab is now offline after tech companies including PayPal, Medium, Stripe, and Jovent withdrew support this weekend. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have also taken steps to remove Gab from their platforms.

The “free speech” network? Gab was launched by tech entrepreneur Andrew Torba two years ago, billing itself as a “free speech” social network where anything goes. It was born out of Torba’s frustration with what he saw as bias against conservative views on mainstream networks like Facebook and Twitter.

However, it soon became popular with far-right figures like Alex Jones and Richard Spencer, who had been banned from other social networks. It’s been criticized for failing to do enough to prevent free expression from spilling over into hate speech.

Outage: It’s unclear how long Gab will be offline. A message on the site claims it is “under attack” and has been “systematically no-platformed.” It adds that Gab will be inaccessible for a “period of time” while it finds a new hosting provider.

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