Gab Becomes Latest Focal Point in Battle Over Online Hate - NBC Bay Area
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Gab Becomes Latest Focal Point in Battle Over Online Hate

Gab, which says it has 800,000 users, bills itself as a champion of free speech. But it has also been criticized as a haven for the alt-right and a hotbed of racism

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    The social media site favored by a Pennsylvania man accused of gunning down 11 people at a synagogue on Saturday was inaccessible Monday, with Gab becoming the latest focal point in a battle over online hate speech and the platforms that host it.

    In an email Sunday, a GoDaddy spokesman said the company had given Gab 24 hours to find a new domain provider after finding "numerous" instances of content that promotes and encourages violence on the site, NBC News reported. PayPal said it was already in the process of canceling Gab’s account before Saturday’s shooting. Another payment service company Stripe, and Gab's web host, Joyent, were also dumping it.

    Gab, which says it has 800,000 users, bills itself as a champion of free speech. But it has also been criticized as a haven for the alt-right and a hotbed of racism, one that gained an audience hungry for extremist content after more mainstream platforms, particularly Twitter and Reddit, began to push hate speech off their services.

    "We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors," a message on Gab's website said Monday.

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)