Just before the suspected synagogue shooter entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday 27th October, he signed into Gab and wrote this to his followers: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Shortly after, the suspects comment and profile was removed from Gab, however his online footprint has not been removed.

“Robert Bowers” Pittsburgh shooting suspect often targeted and was very hostile towards Jews on his gab, but why did he feel it was okay to post posts of this nature? Gab promotes its self as “allowing free speech” but maybe just maybe “Robert Bowers” has gone to far in inciting violence on the social networking site.  He stated that President Donald Trump has surrounded him self with “to many Jews”. He used anti-Semitic language and wrote about an “infestation,” he also posted pictures of his handgun collection.

Gab was founded by : “Andrew Torba” and “Ekrem Büyükkaya”, it was launched on the 15th August 2016 and has approximately 465,000 users, the site allows users to post almost anything even if the content is racist. Gab allows users to post without being sanctioned, the site has almost no restrictions on users comments. If users of Twitter, Facebook and any other social networking sites have been banned from their accounts they usually turn to Gab to gain their rights and needs of freedom of speech. The site mentions that it is for people to defend free expression and individual liberty online”, but what happens to the site now?

Earlier today Gabs twitter, posted ” Today Gab.com spent all day working with the law enforcement to ensure justice is served. For this, we have been no-platformed from “stripe”, “Paypal” and “Joyent”, in a matter of hours. This is a direct collusion between big tech giants” and then continued to tag “Donald Trump” in their tweet with the comment “ACT!”. Gabs twitter account stated hosting provider Joyent was dropping the network, “over a breach of terms of service”. Although Paypal did not provide an exact reason for dropping the site, they told “The Verge” in a statement that it didn’t accept a website “explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance,”

One of gabs tweets said “Gab will likely be down for weeks because of this. Working on solutions”. Is this the end for the site that allows freedom of speech, something that we all seem to be loosing extremely fast?

By Alissa Cook-Gray