Social Media Site Gab, Used by Synagogue Shooter, Suspended Over Hate Posts

Gab touts itself as a platform for conservative views, but critics say white supremacists use it differently.

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Gab, the alternative social media site reportedly used by the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter to share hateful views about the Jewish faith, has been suspended.

The site displayed a message on Monday, saying it had been “systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors,” NPR reported.

“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 at Pittsburgh,” a representative for the platform wrote.

The platform calls itself a place where conservatives can voice their opinions and exercise their right to free speech, according to NPR, but the site has been criticized for allowing anti-Semitism and racism to flourish even before the Saturday shooting.

Robert Bowers, the 46-year-old Pittsburgh resident charged in the shootings, wrote on Gab Saturday morning: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

HIAS — the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society — is a Jewish nonprofit group that has the goal of helping immigrant refugees.

PayPal confirmed to NPR that it had cut off the website from its payment system; and two web-hosting sites severed ties with Gab over the weekend as well.

Gab CEO and founder Andrew Torba told NPR that the site has a policy of removing “direct threats” but said Bowers’ post didn’t sound like a “concrete threat.”

“I don’t know,” Torba told the news site. “Do you see a direct threat in there? Because I don’t. What would you expect us to do with a post like that? You want us to just censor anybody who says the phrase ‘I’m going in’? Because that’s just absurd.”

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