Social network Gab was the online sanctuary of Robert Bowers, the antisemitic killer of 11 Jewish people in Pittsburgh. Gab lost its payment processors Paypal and Stripe over the weekend. On Tuesday, it loses its webhost, Joyent. Godaddy, its domain name registrar, gave it the boot on Sunday. Gab co-founder Ekrem Büyükkaya, who once wrote that he'd be the first to leave if the site was seen to be right-wing, left Sunday.
The Washington Post reports on the origins of white supremacy's online hangout.
Gab is more than a platform. It's also positioned itself as a key figure in the right-wing response to online crackdowns of extremist views, and has benefited directly from the white supremacists who flocked to Gab on the promise that their views would not be censored, according to Joan Donovan, the media manipulation and platform accountability research lead at Data and Society, who has followed the site's growth.
Torba has become a charismatic leader of the "alt-tech" movement which, among other things, dedicates itself to protecting and building tech to house "free speech" — including extremist ideologies that are increasingly unwelcome on mainstream sites. When James Damore was fired from Google in 2017 for writing a viral memo about women in tech, Torba capitalized on the case's media attention to promote an "alt-tech revolution," where conservative tech workers would rise up and topple Silicon Valley giants. Gab, of course, would be there to take their place.
Gab.com is under attack. We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. 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 in Pittsburgh. Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely.
As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.
As usual (and amusingly for once) Gab's last redoubt on social media is Twitter.