Social media's role in spreading hate

This week illustrates how people can become radicalized by "living in the fever swamps of the internet," Brian Stelter says. Oliver Darcy explains Gab, which the Pittsburgh shooting suspect used to post hateful messages. Julia Ioffe, who's been a target of anti-Semitism online, says the "buck stops with the president."

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 11:47 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 12:05 PM

Gab has been taken offline following revelations that the suspected Pittsburgh synagogue gunman used the social network to threaten Jews.

A statement on the platform's website Monday said it would be "inaccessible for a period of time" after several web hosting services declined its business.

Gab said it has also been removed from app stores and refused service by payment processing firms.

"Gab.com is under attack," the company said in the statement. "We have been systematically no-platformed [and] smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people."

The platform has come under scrutiny after it emerged that suspected gunman Robert Bowers frequently targeted Jews in his Gab posts, and even logged onto the platform shortly before allegedly killing 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue.

Gab, which bills itself as "the free speech social network," said that it was working "around the clock" to restore service.

Gab is relatively small, but it has an avid user base. It was founded by entrepreneur Andrew Torba about two years ago. The site says it now has nearly 800,000 users, meaning that it's tiny compared to Twitter (TWTR) or Facebook (FB).

The site's claim to fame is that users can post almost anything — even if the content is racist — without being sanctioned. It puts nearly no restrictions on content.

Bowers' profile on the platform appeared to serve as an echo chamber for racist, anti-Semitic and bigoted ideology. The suspect reposted a number of posts on his social media accounts that tell Jews to get out, or leave.

Gab has denied supporting violence. It said it has backed up Bowers' profile data, suspended his account and contacted the FBI.

"We have been smeared ... for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh," it said.

Gab said on Twitter that it has been banned from using payment processors Stripe and PayPal, as well as cloud hosting service Joyent. It said online publisher Medium had also removed its posts.

GoDaddy, which allows people or companies to register internet addresses, said it had given Gab 24 hours to move to a different service. The deadline will expire Monday night PST.

PayPal (PYPL) confirmed that it would not allow Gab to use its platform to manage donations from users.

"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.

Joyent and Medium did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Stripe said it would not comment on individual users.

West Lafayette
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Rensselaer
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Fowler
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Williamsport
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Crawfordsville
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 51°
Frankfort
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 50°
Delphi
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Monticello
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Logansport
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Spotty Showers Early, followed by Cooler Temps and Breezy NE Winds.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 107809

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20249757
Lake9956312
Elkhart6139106
St. Joseph582896
Allen5743197
Hamilton4565109
Vanderburgh313425
Hendricks2584120
Johnson2227122
Monroe220936
Tippecanoe208213
Clark202756
Porter195243
Cass19149
Delaware177359
Vigo168320
Madison151375
LaPorte133637
Floyd127060
Howard124763
Kosciusko115617
Bartholomew112757
Warrick103334
Marshall97223
Boone93746
Dubois91418
Hancock88842
Noble85832
Grant83732
Jackson7259
Henry72424
Wayne71814
Morgan67337
Shelby65029
LaGrange62811
Daviess61227
Dearborn61228
Clinton58911
Harrison54324
Putnam5088
Lawrence49828
Montgomery49321
White46914
Knox4489
Decatur44639
Gibson4254
DeKalb42110
Miami4182
Greene40635
Fayette40113
Jasper3722
Scott34410
Steuben3427
Sullivan32512
Jennings30512
Franklin29025
Clay2845
Posey2840
Orange27724
Ripley2708
Carroll26713
Wabash2527
Washington2491
Whitley2416
Wells2372
Jefferson2343
Starke2297
Fulton2272
Adams2263
Tipton21522
Huntington2033
Perry20014
Randolph2007
Spencer1944
Newton16311
Owen1621
Jay1570
Martin1500
Rush1474
Pike1311
Vermillion1200
Fountain1132
Pulaski1121
Blackford1062
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke892
Benton870
Ohio757
Union750
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events