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Gab, the social network used by accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, goes offline

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/29/2018 Brett Molina

Gab, the social network scrutinized following the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead, went offline as service providers suspended accounts and threatened to shut the website down.

A message on said the website would not be accessible for a period of time as the site shifts to a new hosting provider.

In a statement, hosting provider GoDaddy confirmed it has given Gab 24 hours to switch providers after claiming the website violated its terms of service.

"GoDaddy investigated and discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people," read a statement from GoDaddy.

Medium, an online publishing tool, suspended Gab's account, which was used to release statements including one right after the synagogue attack on Saturday.

In the statement posted on its website, Gab said it has been "smeared" in the wake of the Pittsburgh attack.

"Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely," it said in its statement.

More: What is Gab, the fringe social network used by Pittsburgh shooting suspect?

The accused Pittsburgh shooter, Robert Bowers, appeared to have an account on Gab where he posted multiple anti-Semitic messages.

"I can't sit by an watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I'm going in," read a post on the account right before the shooting.

More: A 97-year-old, an elderly wife and husband: These are the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

Gab launched in 2016, and was favored by users involved in the "alt-right" movement following crackdowns by Twitter that took place as the social network said it was getting tougher on hate speech.

Slideshow by photo services

Although Gab has rules against calling for acts of violence or making threats, the service has more relaxed rules on what to post, allowing for such content as anti-Semitic rants or conspiracy theories. Earlier this year, Microsoft threatened to pull its hosting service following two anti-Semitic posts on Gab, reported The Verge. Those posts were removed. 

PayPal confirmed it suspended its accounts, while payment processor Stripe and hosting provider Joyent shut down Gab accounts. In a statement, Stripe said it can't comment on individual accounts. Joyent could not be immediately reached for comment. 

In a series of tweets, Gab is calling the efforts to shut down its service "corporate censorship."

"If they can remove from the internet, don't think they can't do it to you," said Gab.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.



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