Gab, a self-declared free speech-respecting social media platform similar to Facebook and Twitter and has been deplatformed by both its payment handlers and cloud host. This comes after a Gab user, Robert Bowers, used the platform to seemingly announce his intention to commit a mass shooting against Jewish worshipers in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. The shooting has claimed the lives of eleven people so far.
Shortly after the massacre, Robert Bowers was identified by local police as the man held as the suspect. Gab responded to the shooter's identification by taking down his social media profile and announcing full cooperation with federal investigators:
"Gab took swift and proactive action to contact law enforcement immediately. We first backed up all user data from the account and then proceeded to suspend the account. We then contacted the FBI and made them aware of this account and the user data in our possession. We are ready and willing to work with law enforcement to see to it that justice is served."
Due to safe harbor provisions which help keep the internet free and functional, Gab can claim to be fully aligned with the law. Their stated goal is to provide a platform for user created content, as long as it doesn't contradict the laws of the United States. In contrast, social media giants which are being accused of curating their media, violate this law as they can be held for copyrighted material that appears on their site without permission of its creator. Strangely though, this law is not being applied to all parties equally.
In spite of their stated position, and even considering the cooperation with federal investigators, the fatal shooting was used by the tech oligarchy to undermine their potential competitor. The first party to pull the plug was PayPal, a dominant payment processor, who terminated their relationship with Gab for no stated reason.
Next in line was Gab's hosting platform Joyent, which declared its intention to pull the plug on Monday 9am. Gab will remain online until this deadline passes, but currently has no where to go after that point.
Finally, the shoah continued when Stripe, the main alternative to Paypal, made it clear that social media alternatives were no longer welcome on its payment processing system.
This leaves Gab with little more than cryptocurrencies as their payment system of last resort. It is unknown how Gab intends to relocate their hosting service, however. With 800,000 people using their service at the time of writing, it will be difficult to find a willing host that is capable of handling the load without Gab resorting to building a server itself. Even then, it may have similar difficulties finding a backbone provider.
While Gab has shown itself to be duplicitous towards free speech, this trend of tech giants being able to remove competitors from the face of the internet should worry everyone. These tech giants act like middlemen, taking a cut from every informational and financial transaction that goes through their network. The media is similarly interested in destroying citizen journalists, who are it's main competitors. These regular folks use social media to air their views and news as well, which often goes against the globo homo agenda, so they can't have that. In the end restriction of free speech and destruction of platforms which do not adhere to those restrictions is their counter-strategy.
And with all things, the restrictions on free speech will be enforced selectively. For example, Twitter itself has no problems with calls for violence as long as it's directed towards the "right" people.
As the once distributed and free internet marches towards restrictive centralization, expect these Infowars-style coordinated deplatforming events to happen more and more frequently.
Gab's domain name domain name registrar GoDaddy has now also pulled the plug. With this move, Gab will effectively be wiped off the internet.