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A regular commenter on Gab kills 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Gabbers respond with Hitler memes and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories

From the shooter’s now-deleted account on Gab

By David Futrelle

Robert Bowers, accused of murdering eleven in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synogogue earlier today, reportedly had an account on Gab, the so-called “free speech” alternative to Twitter that has been completely overrun with Nazis and the Nazi-adjacent. Bowers used the account to spread vile anti-Semitic and racist propaganda — and, if this tweet is accurate, to hit on underage girls.

Here’s the last thing he posted on Gab before the shooting, blaming a Jewish refugee aid organization for bringing foreign “invaders” to the United States:

HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in.

Bowers’ connection to Gab has been widely reported, leading PayPal to finally cut its ties with the site, which has become a major platform for, and enabler of, hate speech.

So how have the users of Gab responded to the shooting? I went there today to see, starting off by looking at the topic devoted to the shooter. The very first post I ran across was this one — jokingly criticizing Bowers for not killing as many as Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik:

GB @CYA 12 minutes ago · in Robert Bowers Only 10/69th Breivik. For a country with so many guns you'd think we could score higher.

This was the post immediately below it:

Charles Synyard @CharlesSynyard PRO an hour ago · in Robert Bowers I am torn between, do not attempt this, and, I salute you @onedingo. This day there can be no doubt, that The Saxon Began To Hate. #RobertBowers #RWDS #TakeBackOurCountry

You don’t have to make the slightest effort to find hate on Gab. It’s everywhere. The site’s “News” topic is similarly overflowing with hateful comments on the shooting.

Many used the murder of eleven Jews by an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist as an excuse to spread  … anti-Semitic conspiracy theories:

 Gnome @gnomeland 2 hours ago · in Robert Bowers Daily Reminder : Jews call for the killing of whites on a daily basis on Twitter, if they are not advocating it themselves they use their mongrel biological weapons to do their dirty work for them

By “mongrel biological weapons” Gnome means “immigrants.” This is essentially the same conspiracy theory promoted by Bowers himself, the idea that “the Jews” are funding the immigrant “invasion” to destroy the white race.

Others cried “false flag.”

 White Is Beautiful @WADL a few seconds ago · in News Caravan didn’t work fake bombers didn’t work now a synagogue shooter is the third time a charm gab or are you too smart for this?

 Fox About Town @Foxabouttown 6 hours ago · in News Mail bomber and now synagogue shooting. These won't be the last. Deep state is trying to start a civil war. They will continue to escalate the violence until the left loses their mind and violence erupts on the streets. Deep state doesn't want the vote to happen on Nov. 6

Er, “Fox,” violence has already erupted. It’s all coming from the right. And the only people trying to interfere in the elections are the GOP officials moving polling places out of reach of voters without cars and throwing mostly brown and black people off the voter rolls.

I’m not sure I fully understand GrandeFormaggio’s particular conspiracy theory below, but it too seems to boil down to the assertions that “the Jews did it.”

GrandeFormaggio @GrandeFormaggio 2 minutes ago · in News The conspiracy theory is the attack itself. Lots of CC references, direct Kabbalah/Talmud stories, 11 dead 6 wounded (=66=666). Freemasons run the worldwide terror theater, and #zionists as they are they love a good old #synagogue attack. I now know why twitter deleted my posts of the Rome synagogue hoax. #pittsburgh #psyop #hoax

This lovely fellow celebrated by posting a bunch of Nazi memes.

Some painted Gab and Gabbers as the real victims, worrying about the public relations disaster Gab now faces and railing against those pointing out Bowers’ regular use of the hate-infested platform.

 ctwatcher @ctwatcher 17 minutes ago · in News Using Gab for a headline? Desperation is ugly.

BurKaBoom @Grubama PRO Donor Investor an hour ago · in Robert Bowers well Bowers blew any chance of bringing Trump on board Gab any time soon.

 Eric Striker @Eric_Striker 3 hours ago If Gab is liable for Robert Bowers' behavior, why isn't Twitter, youtube, or facebook? Oh right, Gab is the free speech platform Jews want to destroy and its not about liability at all.

Christina here felt it was time to issue a warning. (The picture is of a snarling wolf; I couldn’t fit it all in the screenshot.)

Christina @TZilla PRO 2 minutes ago · in News I've been warning, you better quit fucking with Whitie. I just know, history shows.

The only really critical voices I ran across came from a few commenters who are openly hostile to the platform:

Janus Christ @JustinianTheGreat an hour ago · in News Let one of you idiot Torba shills from this garbage site sit here and try to pretend like you're even slightly surprised that some one from Gab shot up a synagogue. Go ahead, I'll fucking wait. LMAO

 Hudson Wyatt @Zwyatt 27 minutes ago · in News I joined Gab yesterday to try to understand the level of vitriol the hard right maintains. You people are looking for exterminations and the bulk of the discourse shows that. The hard-left has nothing on you people for bloodlust.

There are a few people on Gab who are distressed by the ubiquity of open Nazis on the platform and want to “save” the site by getting more non-Nazis to sign up. Why on earth would they? The site is beyond saving. It’s a bad place, and it’s making the world a worse place. It doesn’t deserve to survive.

EDITED TO ADD: I hasn’t seen this before I put up the post, but the official Gab account on Twitter is bragging about all the traffic they’re getting from the fact THAT ONE OF THEIR USERS JUST MURDERED ELEVEN PEOPLE.

Gab.com ? ‏ Verified account @getongab Following Following @getongab More We have been getting 1 million hits an hour all day.

Catapult Gab directly into the sun.

EDITED AGAIN: Speaking of which, Gab’s hosting provider is officially sick of their shit.

Gab.com ? ‏ Verified account   @getongab Following Following @getongab More Breaking: @joyent, Gab’s new hosting provider, has just pulled our hosting service. They have given us until 9am on Monday to find a solution. Gab will likely be down for weeks because of this. Working on solutions. We will never give up on defending free speech for all people.

Click on the screenshot to see the whole thread. I don’t know if this is a knockout blow for Gab or just an inconvenience. If the former, I won’t be missing them.

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Nentuaby
Nentuaby
3 years ago

@Lumipuna:

“I figure that Gab may not have been intended as a far right platform, but it was lost the moment it turned out that[…]”

It was started by alt-righters for alt-righters when Twitter had one of its infrequent spasms of actually blocking nazis.

It was never a sincere free-speech absolutist site, not even in the planning and inception stages. Their twitter account posted a code of conduct promising bans for certain speech-crimes against the Alt Right before they’d even yet launched a service you could be banned on.

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