Gab, a social media platform notorious for courting members of the far-right who have been suspended from Twitter, has been on a week-long meltdown since major tech hosts and payment processors fled the site after news that a premium user on Gab who posted openly about his desire to kill Jews murdered 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Before he carried out what is believed to be the deadliest attack on American Jews to date, the shooter posted incessantly on Gab, using a paid premium account that gave him a “verified” check-mark and access to opportunities to raise money on the site. The shooter shared anti-Semitic rhetoric on Gab and interacted with failed neo-Nazi political candidate Patrick Little, League of the South’s Bradley Griffin, a racist troll using the moniker “Jack Corbin,” and alt-right social media personality Jared Wyand.
After the shooting, Stripe pulled its services from Gab. The company had already temporarily frozen Gab’s account in October but hesitated to shut out the account, despite the fact that journalists and activists had registered complaints about Gab for months. Despite Right Wing Watch’s requests for comment during those months, Stripe never answered regarding its servicing of Gab.
PayPal also terminated Gab’s accounts in reaction to news of the mass shooting. Cloud hosting company Joyent suspended Gab’s account, GoDaddy told Gab to find a new domain provider, Shopify disabled the platform’s web sales, and blogging platform Medium shuttered Gab’s account.
Cloudflare, a content server and security provider that holds to a philosophy of never terminating accounts (with the exception of the former account of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer), appears to be still servicing Gab.
Ekrem Büyükkaya resigned as Gab’s chief technical officer the day after the synagogue shooting, writing that “attacks from the American press have been relentless for two years now and have taken a toll on me personally.”
Naturally, Gab CEO Andrew Torba took to Twitter—the site his own platform is meant to mimic—to offload a series of outbursts and bizarre remarks. He amplified those remarks on Alex Jones’ Infowars web-based radio program, which has also been booted off much of the internet.
On October 29, Torba told followers of Gab on Twitter that he wasn’t suicidal and that if “something happens to me or my family it is certainly a conspiracy and you should investigate it.”
Days later, Torba accused the media of inciting a terrorist attack against his parents, claiming that a propane leak at his parent’s home was the fault of journalists who have been critical of his platform.
Torba warned that when his website goes back online, that “there will inevitably be a flood of psyop accounts created to drive division and break our guidelines.” Torba also accused reporters of participating in the supposed psychological warfare operation.
Even prominent far-right internet personalities and conservatives took to bashing Gab. Anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller posted an article on her blog that said neo-Nazis dominated Gab, to which Gab took wild offense.
Torba posted that the “job of the media is to spread propaganda, lies, and push the agenda of the global elite.” When a journalist pointed out that Adolf Hitler made similar remarks about the press, Torba flipped out.
Torba also jabbed at The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill, accusing her of being a “political activist” pretending to be a journalist. He also claimed he would be reporting Michael Edison Hayden, a news intelligence analyst with Storyful, to federal authorities for what was clearly a satirical post.
The Gab CEO compared himself Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced allegations of sexual assault during his confirmation process, and said the comparison he drew of himself was “an honor.”
Torba also warned his fans that if they don’t vote in the midterms than communists will destroy the Bill of Rights.
A statement from Torba posted on Gab’s downed website currently reads: “It doesn’t matter what you write. It doesn’t matter what the sophist talking heads say on TV. It doesn’t matter what verified nobodies say on Twitter. We have plenty of options, resources, and support. We will exercise every possible avenue to keep Gab online and defend free speech and individual liberty for all people.”
Torba declared: “God is on Gab.”
Gab, in an apparent attempt to recast its reputation, swapped out its green frog logo—styled like the Pepe the Frog cartoon character co-opted for alt-right memes during the 2016 election—for a dove.