Tech

Gab Dropped By Host, Payment Services After Pittsburgh Shooter’s Profile Surfaces

Reuters

Celine Ryan Contributor

Social network service Gab has been banned from using PayPal after the anti-Semitic profile of the man suspected of gunning down multiple people at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning gained attention.

Shortly after Robert Bowers’ anti-Semitic rants began to circulate online, PayPal sent the social networking site notice that it would be “terminating” its current relationship. PayPal offered no explanation to Gab for the decision, other than referencing PayPal’s right to make such a decision. (RELATED: Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect Identified As Robert Bowers)

However, in a statement to The Verge, PayPal said: “The company is diligent in performing reviews and taking account actions. When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action.”

Hours later, Gab received notice from its hosting provider, Joyent, that it too would be cutting ties with the company. Joyent informed Gab that services will be suspended effective Monday morning, a decision that Gab said will cause the site to be down for weeks. Gab informed users that it is currently “working on solutions” to keep the site active.

Payment processing company Stripe followed soon after, suspending Gab’s account pending an “investigation.” Stripe claims that Gab failed to provide “sufficient evidence that Gab actually prevents violations of our policies in your Gab Pro service, or any other portion of your service that relies on Stripe for monetization.”

“While we continue our investigation, we are suspending transfers to your bank account, effective immediately,” Stripe told Gab. “Your Stripe account will continue to be able to receive payments from your customers, but you will not receive payouts until we re-enable them.”

Gab responded to the attacks by vowing to “continue to fight for free expression and individual liberty online for all people.”

“Big tech can not stop us. The mainstream media can not stop us. The People will defend freedom against tyranny as they always have and always will.”

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 27: Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on October 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to reports, at least 12 people were shot, 4 dead and three police officers hurt during the incident. The shooter surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 27: Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on October 27, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to reports, at least 12 people were shot, 4 dead and three police officers hurt during the incident. The shooter surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Gab brands itself as “The Home of Free Speech Online,” and promises its users that they are free to express any opinion, no matter how unsavory others may find it. However, the platform claims it took “swift and proactive action” by providing Bowers’ profile and user data to authorities as soon as it was aware that the the account existed. (RELATED: Trump Reacts To ‘Devastating’ Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting)

“We refuse to be defined by the media’s narratives about Gab and our community,” said the social media company. “Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people. Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity.”