Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images Updated at 5:20 ET on Monday The suspect in the…
Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images
Updated at 5:20 ET on Monday
The suspect in the lethal shot of a synagogue in Pittsburgh was reportedly a user of Gab, a small social networking site proud to create a platform for freedom of expression – but has become a focal point for far right users.
An account linked to Robert Bowers, the 46-year-old in Pittsburgh, wrote to Gab on Saturday morning: “HIAS likes to bring invaders who kill our people. Can not sit and see my people be slaughtered. Screw your optics , I’m entering. “HIAS is the Hebrew immigrant community, a Jewish non-profit group dedicated to helping refugees.
Bowers said he had a “desire to kill Jewish people,” said US lawyer Scott Brady to Sunday morning broadcaster.
Bowers used anti-Semitic slurries on Gab and called Jews an “attack” and a “problem” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Bowers also used the common white supremacist slogan “1488” in his profile, says the group, combines the classic white supremacist “14 words” with 88, which is the code of “Heil Hitler.”
Gab wrote a message on Medium after Saturday’s shot saying: “Gab decides unambiguously and condemns all terrorism and acts of violence. It has always been our policy. We are sad and upset by the news about violence in Pittsburgh and keep families and friends together all victims in our thoughts and prayers. “
The website said it removed the account linked to Robert Bowers and has been in contact with law enforcement and is ready to” ensure justice is served. “
Andrew Torba, founded Gab and its CEO have said that the network has been “strengthened and defended freedom of expression, defending individual freedom, defending the free flow of information I saw under attack”.
Tor ba is a Trump supporter who was allegedly “once kicked by the prestigious Silicon Valley tech accelerator Y Combinator alumni network to call his colleagues cucks, “” The Daily Beast reported. “
An informal browse through Gab’s message cards finds lots of anti-Semitism, racism, nazism and sexism that flow through their messages along with conspiracy theories. The site also has lots of common social media including messages about music, art and sports.
As NPR’s Alina Selyukh reported last year, “many members to the right and others who feel their opinions staged by common sites like Twitter and Facebook” have gravitated against Gab, with their promise of few restrictions by speech.
The page often answers critics by pointing out Twitter and Facebook and other social media r for the numbers found on these platforms:
Christopher Cantwell, a white nationalist who became famous and arrested after last year’s Unite the Right rally, has a side on Gab.
Paypal screened the site from its payment system on Saturday, according to Gab’s Twitter Feed . Paypal quoted Gabs that allows “the hope of hatred, violence or discriminatory intolerance” as the reason, The Verge reports.
Gab later on on Saturday that its hosting provider Joyent pulled his website service efficiently Monday, meaning “Gab is likely to be down for weeks because of this.”
On Sunday, the site sent a message as says it would be “unavailable for some time” after being “under attack” and that it had “systematically no platform of App Stores, multiple hosting providers and multiple payment processors.”
“We have been adorned by the usual media to defend freedom and individual freedom for all people and to work with law enforcement to ensure fair service to the horrible cruelty committed in Pittsburgh, “announced the announcement. “Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely.”
The community’s social standards have resolved restrictions without an explicit ban on hate speech. However, they prevent users from “requiring violence against others” and “threatening language or behavior that clearly, directly and irrevocably violates the safety of another user or individual.”
Gab is headquartered in Philadelphia in March and also lists an address in Clarks Summit, Penn., In an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September. It says that it has two employees.
Gab was launched in private beta in August 2016 before it was opened to the public in May 2017, according to a collection site for the site. Since then, the user base has increased from 300,000 users in November last year to about 800,000 today, the company says.
In a filing with the SEC in March, site operators say they expect to appeal to “over 50 million conservative, libertarian, nationalist and populist Internet users” who use websites like Breitbart, DrudgeReport.com and InfoWars.com as people leave social networks that “censor conservative views”.