Wash. Company Puts Gab, A Platform For Racists, Back Online
SAMMAMISH, WA – Gab, a Twitter-like social media platform used by Nazis and white supremacists, will return to the internet with help from a Sammamish-based domain provider. Gab was kicked off the internet after one of its users carried out a massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27.
Robert W. Monster, CEO of domain provider Epik, said in a statement that “digital censorship” of a site like Gab is wrong.
Gab was set up by Andrew Torba as an alternative to Twitter, attracting many people whose words got them banned from that site. Robert Bowers, who allegedly killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue last week, was a Gab user.
Right before the shooting, Bowers allegedly wrote on Gab, “Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Bowers’ profile also called Jewish people “the children of satan.”
In the wake of the massacre, domain sites like GoDaddy refused to host Gab. Gab’s reemergence was first reported on Saturday by KUOW.
In his statement, Monster said that tolerance of different points of view should be part of society.
“De-platforming a haven of free speech is not about left or right. Anyone who remembers studying civics is familiar with the concept of inalienable rights — rights that a worthy government can only protect but would have no moral authority to take away. The idea of Natural Law and Inalienable Rights dates back to Ancient Greece, if not before. Tolerance for competing views — including those protected by Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press — is not an American concept even though the Founding Fathers of the United States built a prosperous nation around the concept.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Gab was still just a static homepage with a message about the Tree of Life massacre.
According to state records, Epik is based in Sammamish; the company maintains a PO box in Bellevue and has offices in Seattle. State records show that Epik is governed by Monster and Cliff Beer, chief financial officer of BrightVolt, a Redmond-based battery company.
Caption: The scene of a mass hooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images