Twitter Rival App, Gab Loses Support From Major Tech Services Over Role in Synagogue Attack

Twitter Rival App, Gab Loses Support From Major Tech Services Over Role in Synagogue Attack

 

Several tech services have withdrawn support from Gab, in the wake of the terrorist attack at the US Synagogue that led to the death of eleven Jewish faithful.

Gab has nearly 800, 000 users and prides itself as a defender of ‘free speech and expression.’

Many have criticized it for abetting populist views and conspiracy theorist rejected by other social networks.

The service has said it has ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism and violence.

 

It has, however, acknowledged that a verified account whose details matched those of the alleged Tree of Life Synagogue shooter had been active on its service.

The assailant posted some anti-Semitic messages before the attack.

Gab has said it is ‘ready and willing to work with law enforcement’ and noted that the suspect ‘also had accounts on other social networks.’

It, however, criticizes its rival Twitter for having posts from ‘Isis cells’ and other far-right groups and notes no one is calling for its closure.

 

Even so, some of the technology companies who have severed their relationship with Gab said they were uncomfortable with its behaviour.

 

‘When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action,’ PayPal said in a statement.

 

Internet domain registrar GoDaddy has given Gab 24 hours to find another provider. It explained,

‘In response to complaints received over the weekend, GoDaddy investigated and discovered numerous instances of content on the site that both promotes and encourages violence against people,’ a spokesman told BBC News.

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Gab has reported that a further three technology companies, which have not publicly commented, had also banned or suspended it. They include; Medium, a blogging platform, Stripe, an online payment processor, and Joyent, which provides web-hosting services.

 

Apple and Google have both banned its app from their stores and Microsoft stopped hosting the platform on its Azure cloud computing platform in September.

 

But Gab has said that it still has ‘plenty of options, resources and support’ after the latest setback and is ‘working around to clock’ to get back online.

Five things to know about Gab

  • Critics have described the site as a “haven” for the far-right since many controversial figures have moved there after being banned from Twitter and Facebook. Among them is conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, the anti-Islam group Britain First and Founder of Neo-Nazi site daily Stormer.

 

  • Not everything is allowed on Gab. Its terms and conditions do not allow direct threats of violence. And founder Andrew Torba has previously blogged disavowing political violence. Posts that break US laws – such as copyright content and images of child abuse – are also not allowed.

 

 

  • Gab does not carry advertising. Instead, members can pay for a Pro membership that unlocks several features, including video live-streaming

 

  • Apple has never allowed Gab on its App Store, citing pornographic content and hate speech. Gab was available on the Google Play store until August 2017, when Google removed it citing hate speech. Gab produced versions of its app where content could be filtered by users but this too was not allowed on Apple and Google app stores. Gab has described this as Silicon Valley censorship

 

 

  • Gab has faced censorship accusations of its own. In 2017, its web domain registrar ordered it to delete a post mocking Heather Heyer, a woman killed in protest-related violence in Charlottesville. Faced with the threat of losing its web domain, Gab deleted the post and sought a new domain registrar. Its cloud service provider, Microsoft, also ordered it to delete two anti-Semitic posts. However, these were subsequently removed by the writer himself. Gab has said it wants to develop its own decentralised infrastructure so that it can avoid censorship

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