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Far-Right Social Network Gab Suspends Operation Following Backlash Over Hosting Synagogue Shooter

Twitter's Far-Right Cousin Gab Shuts Down
Courtesy of Gab

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

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.