Former DNC chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean joined other Democrats and progressives in claiming that social media Gab was somehow complicit in the shooting deaths of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. He called for Gab to be tried as an “accomplice to murder.” Robert Bower -- an anti-Semite who is the prime suspect in the case -- posted threats against Jews on Gab. Since the deadly attack, Gab has been taken off line. 

It was on Gab.com that suspect Robert Bowers professed his hatred for Jews and President Donald Trump. While Gab was shut down, it has emerged that the suspect also had accounts at social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

Dean tweeted on Sunday, “You are a facilitator of neo nazis and other haters. You should be tried for being an accomplice to murder.” The outspoken Dean was a 2004 Democratic presidential candidate. “You’re lucky shutting you down is all you get,” Dean continued. “A lot luckier than the 11 Jews in Pittsburgh were or the two African Americans murdered in Kentucky were.”

Just hours after the attack, Gab tweeted: “Gab.com spent all day working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served.” Noting the reaction from internet payment processors PayPal and Stripe, and cloud hosting provider Joyent, which prevented payments to Gab,, Gab tweeted: “For this, we have been no-platformed from Stripe, PayPal, and Joyent in a matter of hours.” Calling for action by the president, Gab charged: “This is direct collusion between big tech giants. Donald Trump, act!”

“We have been smeared … for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh,” Gab said, CNN reported.

On Sunday, Gab fired back at Dean, alluding to its policy regarding free speech. “Our moderation policy mirrors the First Amendment. Our sole objective is to provide all people with a means to exercise the First Amendment, as-written, on the Internet. That means making tough moderation calls - not because we agree with the speech but because we defend the First Amendment.”

On Monday, Gab announced that the site would be “inaccessible for a period of time” after losing its hosting provider. Gab has frequently identified as an alternative to Twitter and a “free speech social network.” GoDaddy.com -- a domain provider -- gave Gab one day to switch to another provider. Gab threatened on Sunday that it will take legal action against GoDaddy.com “to the fullest extent of the law” if the domain provider “steals” Gab’s “six figure domain.”

Gab tweeted, “GoDaddy is threatening to suspend our domain (which is worth six figures) if we do not transfer to a new provider by tomorrow. This is madness.” Gab added, “Donald Trump and [Trump reelection chair] Brad Parscale, I hope you are paying attention.”

PayPal announced in a statement that it was taking “immediate” action to counter what the payment processor called Gab’s alleged “perpetuation of hate.” “When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action,” PayPal said.

Gab was founded by Andrew Torba in 2016 and has allowed its nearly 800,000 users to post with broad freedom. Among the users are author Ann Coulter. The demand from GoDaddy apparently drove Gab to seek an overseas provider. Gab tweeted: “Just spoke to our broker about GoDaddy and he recommended we transfer to a DNS outside of the United States. Welcome to 2018 where freedom of speech isn’t defended by US corporations.”

When cloud hosting provider Joyent announced its intention to suspend Gab on Monday, Gab wrote on Twitter, “Okay Joyent, expect to hear from the FBI and Department of Justice then. Gab charged: “Mainstream media and big tech attacks are only making Gab stronger.”

Instead of its many pages for subscribers, the Gab website now shows the following statement from its founder:

“Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy. 

“Gab isn’t going anywhere. 

“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. 

“You have all just made Gab a nationally recognized brand as the home of free speech online at a time when Silicon Valley is stifling political speech they disagree with to interfere in a US election. 

“The internet is not reality. TV is not reality. 80% of normal everyday people agree with Gab and support free expression and liberty. The online outrage mob and mainstream media spin machine are the minority opinion. People are waking up, so please keep pointing the finger at a social network instead of pointing the finger at the alleged shooter who holds sole responsibility for his actions. 

“No-platform us all you want. Ban us all you want. Smear us all you want. 

“You can’t stop an idea. 

“As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely. 

Andrew Torba, CEO Gab.com"
 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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