*Update: Gab came back online early Sunday morning, according to a tweet.*
Gab, the website on which alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers posted anti-Semitic comments, announced late Saturday night it was being denied hosting services.
The announcement came the same day 11 people were killed and six others injured during a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Bowers allegedly yelled anti-Semitic comments during the shooting.
Earlier in the day, a post by Bowers said a Jewish refugee organization, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Gab has called itself a “free-speech” alternative to Twitter, posted on Twitter that it would have to find a new hosting provider as of 9 a.m. Monday morning.
“@joyent, Gab’s new hosting provider, has just pulled our hosting service,” officials wrote in a post.
“Gab will likely be down for weeks because of this. Working on solutions. We will never give up on defending free speech for all people.”
Joyent pulled Gab from their hosting service after Paypal said earlier that Gab was banned from using the company’s money sending services.
Gab officials defend themselves, saying they had cooperated fully with law enforcement officials in the wake of Bowers’ post and the shooting.
“Both @joyent and @paypal should be ashamed of themselves. [Gab] has worked tirelessly with the great people at the FBI and DOJ to see to it that justice is served for today’s horrid events. We have vehemently disavowed any and all violence,” another post on Twitter reads.
Gab was started in 2016 by founder Andrew Torba, who said existing sites like Twitter and Facebook have a left-leaning monopoly on social media. It allows users to read and write unfiltered messages of up to 300 characters, called “gabs”.
Gab is a popular gathering place for alt-right activists and white nationalists whose views are unwelcome or banned on other social media platforms. Early members included the right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer website. Other well known users have included controversial media personalities Alex Jones and Carl Benjamin.
Apple blocked the app from its App store in 2016, citing pornographic content, and later, hate speech. Google blocked the app from its Google Play store for hate speech, which brought a law suit from Gab that was eventually dropped.
Bowers is facing 29 criminal counts, including 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder, violating U.S. civil rights laws and charges alleging Bowers seriously injured police officers while obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs.
—With files from Reuters
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