Valley-based GoDaddy pulls plug on website linked to Pittsburgh shooter
PHOENIX – Valley-based internet company GoDaddy pulled the plug on the social network reportedly used by the suspected Pittsburgh synagogue shooter to spew anti-Semitic messages.
Before allegedly killing 11 people at the Circle of Life Synagogue, Robert Bowers reportedly used his Gab.com account to regularly post about his hatred of Jews.
On Sunday, Gab used its verified Twitter account to say GoDaddy was threatening to suspend its domain.
The tweet included an image of what appears to be a message from the Scottsdale-based web hosting company saying Gab had been violating terms of service.
The message said GoDaddy “discovered numerous instances of content on your site [Gab] that both promotes and encourages violence against people.”
GoDaddy was the registrar for Gab’s URL, but not the hosting provider.
In a statement to media outlets, GoDaddy confirmed it had emailed Gab with its intentions to suspend the social network’s domain.
By Monday morning, the only thing showing up at Gab.com was a defiant message from Andrew Torba, the company’s CEO, vowing that the service would be restored eventually.
GoDaddy wasn’t alone in acting against Gab in the wake of Saturday’s shooting.
Online payment companies Paypal and Stripe pulled their services, as did cloud hosting company Joyent and publishing platform Medium.
Gab’s app never was approved for Apple’s app store, and in August it was removed from the Google Play store.
Gab was launched in 2016 billed as a right-wing alternative to Twitter that champions free speech. It became known as a haven for far-right extremists who had been kicked off of mainstream social networks.
This wasn’t the first time GoDaddy worked to take down a site for inciting violence.
It took a similar action against the Daily Stormer, a white supremacist site, in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally at which protester Heather Heyer was killed.