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Social media network Gab, linked to Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, back online

Nick Thompson on social media & hate speech
Nick Thompson on social media & hate speech 03:51

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Social media platform Gab, where the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre spewed anti-Semitic messages, is back online roughly one week after domain registrar GoDaddy and other internet services dropped the site.

Gab returned on Sunday after a Seattle-based company, Epik, accepted the site's domain registration.

Gab suspended the account belonging to Robert Gregory Bowers, the man charged with killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month, shortly after the attack. On its Twitter account, Gab posted a message Sunday that said it "will not be defined by the actions of one individual."

Gab has been a haven for racists and anti-Semites who have been banned from Twitter for hateful and harassing behavior. Gab's founder and CEO, Andrew Torba, has portrayed his site as a bastion of free speech.

Hate speech on social media 02:02

The platform has also accused the media of mischaracterizing Gab. "If you joined Gab today and found out that it wasn't everything the media made it out to be, perhaps you should be asking yourselves what else it is they lie about," the site said over Twitter on Monday.

Gab launched in 2016 as an alternative to larger social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, which the company claims in an SEC filing "continue to crack down on 'objectionable content'" and "censor conservative views." In the same SEC filing Gab highlights the users of "conservative, libertarian, nationalist, and populist" sites, such as Breitbart, Infowars and Drudge Report, as its target market.

Gab went offline following the Oct. 27 shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, which killed 11 people and injured six others. The intense spotlight on the site also seems to have hindered its efforts to raise money — the site lost more than three dozen small investors in the days immediately following the shooting. In 2017, the company raised more than $1 million in a separate crowdfunding campaign.

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