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Gab Goes Offline: Network Was Used by Pittsburgh Shooting Suspect

memorial outside tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh
A memorial is viewed outside the Tree of Life synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
 

Monday, 29 October 2018 11:01 AM

Gab.com went offline Sunday night after both its hosting provider and domain name host cancelled their business relationships with the Twitter-like service used by members of the fringe right.

The backlash against Gab comes after news broke that the service was frequented by Robert Bowers, who allegedly shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday morning. Bowers had an active account on Gab, which he used to post anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, with some posts claiming that the migrant caravan across Mexico was the work of a Jewish conspiracy.

Gab took down Bowers' account following the shooting, but the company has spent much of the weekend defending posts like those made by Bowers as free speech. As a result, Gab was dropped by cloud hosting provider Joyent as well as payment processing providers PayPal and Stripe.

When domain name provider GoDaddy gave the company 24 hours to move its service elsewhere, Gab pulled the plug, telling followers on Twitter that it would be inaccessible for "a period of time."

Gab's attempts to restore its service seem to be complicated by the fact that the company doesn't own its domain name outright, but instead is under a payment plan -- something that's not uncommon for high-value domain names, including any domains consisting of just three letters.

Gab isn't the only company under scrutiny over not banning extremist views. Last week, news broke that the Florida man suspected of mailing over a dozen pipe bombs to senior Democrats had previously threatened critics of President Trump on Twitter.

Twitter responded to this by saying that it had erred to leave the tweets in question available on its service. "We want Twitter to be a place where people feel safe, and we know we have a lot of work to do," the company said in a tweet.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Gab.com went offline Sunday night after both its hosting provider and domain name host cancelled their business relationships with the Twitter-like service that was frequented by the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
gab, goes, offline, shooting
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2018-01-29
Monday, 29 October 2018 11:01 AM
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