Gab, the preferred social network of the far right, came back online Sunday — and was immediately flooded with anti-Semitic comments.
The website’s hosting provider GoDaddy pulled the plug last week after it was revealed that Robert Bowers, the gunman who allegedly killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, had an account on Gab where he regularly shared violently racist content.
After going offline, Gab founder Andrew Torba accused the media of demonizing the site while ignoring similar problems on mainstream networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
Torba got his site back online Sunday after it secured the services of Epik, a Seattle-based hosting company. “I do believe the guys that are on the site are vigilant,” Epik CEO Rob Monster told the Seattle Times about Gab’s promise to police its platforms more thoroughly.
Yet within minutes of Gab’s return, users were once again posting anti-Semitic content.
In a message welcoming users back online, Torba said: “We want to see nothing but positivity, peace, and love.”
One user responded: “Fuck that, name the Jews who are trying to shut us down.” The comment was subsequently deleted, leaving users asking why the comment was removed.
Torba said in response that “a lot of people are creating brand new accounts and breaking our guidelines on purpose tonight.”
White nationalist Christopher Cantwell, who has a verified account on the network, quickly embraced Gab’s return.
“Hey Jews! We're back on Gab now. Thanks for the press,” he posted, adding: “What do you goys think the kikes are going to do to fuck themselves over next?”
Cantwell continued: “Please remember it was the Jews who tried to shut this site down. You can call them “big tech” or “liberal elites” or “the media” or “the globalists| or “the bankers” but it is always the Jews, and you're kidding yourselves if you think otherwise.”
Torba called on Gab’s users to help police the site. “We need the community to be extra helpful with flagging any posts that might be breaking our guidelines — especially threats of violence.”
The founder also posted a message saying how “utterly foolish the mainstream media is” alongside a screenshot of a search spike for Gab on Google.
However, a closer look at the trends shows that while there was an increase in searches for Gab after Pittsburgh, levels have since fallen back.
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Cover image: Christopher Cantwell and other white nationalists participate in a torch-lit march on the grounds of the University of Virginia ahead of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11, 2017. (REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)