Reports: Accused Pittsburgh Killer Put Racist Posts on Social Media
The man accused of killing 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh reportedly left messages on a small social media service.
The suspect, Robert Bowers, was charged with 29 crimes, including hate crimes, related to the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The attack on the Jewish religious center also injured at least six others, including four police officers.
On the morning of the shooting, a person using the name of Robert Bowers posted an anti-Semitic message on a social media service called Gab. The message targeted a Jewish nonprofit group called HIAS. The group seeks to help refugees around the world.
The message said: "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people." The post continued, "I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered...I'm going in."
Officials said Bowers called out "All Jews must die," before he fired at people inside the synagogue.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights group. It said an examination of the suspect's social media activity on Gab showed he had posted or reposted content at least 68 times. It said the postings often dealt with "numerous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories" long publicized by neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups.
By Monday, Gab was no longer available on the internet after several companies supporting the site cut off services for policy violations.
The Gab service was launched in 2016 by Andrew Torba. He said his purpose was to provide another social media choice for people facing restrictions by other services.
The site gained popularity as Twitter and Facebook sought to ban members of a movement known as the "alt-right." The alt-right is a far-right movement that publicizes extreme ideas — mainly on the internet.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media have said bans are carried out when users violate policies against hate speech or threats of violence, not because of their political views.
On its Twitter page, Gab describes itself as "built, owned and funded by The People, with a mission to defend individual liberty and free expression online." The service lets users read and write messages called "gabs."
The company that hosted the site, GoDaddy, said it decided to end its service because Gab had violated a policy against promoting violence. Payment company PayPal also banned Gab from using its services. Apple and Google blocked app sales of Gab for violating hate speech policies.
In an interview published Tuesday on the internet, Torba said he was "horrified" when he learned the shooting suspect had used Gab. He said Bowers clearly violated a company policy that bans "threats of violence and terrorism." But Torba said he did not know about Bowers or his postings until after the attack.
Torba said his company had fully cooperated with U.S. law enforcement officials since the attack "to bring justice to an alleged terrorist." He added, "Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case."
In a statement, Torba called the actions against his site and new criticism after the Pittsburgh shooting unfair. He says the site simply aims to "defend free expression" for all individuals.
"Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity," his statement said. He added that he was working to find new partner companies to support the service so it can return to the internet.
"Gab isn't going anywhere," he wrote.
Other sites known to be popular with alt-right groups are 4chan and Reddit. These sites both have areas where members can read and post political views.
Oren Segal is the director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism. He told Yahoo News his organization has already observed internet discussions among extremists about what will happen if Gab goes away forever. He said it is highly likely that another service sharing Gab's views on uncensored speech would take over.
"This is the beginning of this discussion," Segal said. "Gab being taken down is not the end."
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1. sit by (对错误或违法的事情)坐视不理，作壁上观；
We can't just sit by and watch you throw your life away.
2. bring justice to 将…绳之以法；把…缉拿归案；
Our aim was not to punish the rich, but rather to br ing justice to the poor.
3. bring out 使（某种通常不易显露的行为或情感）显现；激发；
You bring out the best in me.
4. take over 接替；接任；接手；
There are now more than 20 big companies waiting in the wings to take over some of its business.
嫌犯罗伯特·鲍尔斯在宾夕法尼亚州匹兹堡的“生命之树”犹太教堂制造了枪击案，他因此被控29项罪名，其中包括仇恨犯罪 。这起发生在犹太中心枪击案还造成至少6人受伤，包括4名警察 。
在枪击案发生的当天早上，一个人用罗伯特·鲍尔斯这个名字在社交媒体网站Gab上发表了一篇反犹太文章 。该文章攻击的目标是名为“希伯来移民援助协会”（简称HIAS）的犹太非营利组织 。这个组织致力于为世界各地的难民提供帮助 。
鲍尔斯写道：“HIAS（希伯来移民援助协会）喜欢带来杀死我们人民的侵略者 。我不能坐以待毙、眼看同胞被杀……我要杀进去 。”
南方贫困法律中心是一个非盈利性的公民权益维护组织 。该组织表示，他们检查了嫌疑人在Gab网站上的社交媒体活动后发现，他曾发表或转发内容至少68次 。这些帖文通常涉及“大量反犹太阴谋论”，而这些是新纳粹主义和白人民族主义组织长期以来一直在宣传的内容 。
Gab网站在2016年由安德鲁·托尔巴创建 。他表示，他的本意是在人们面临其他网站的限制时，为他们提供另一种社交媒体选择 。
由于推特和脸谱网试图禁止“另类右派”成员，Gab网站开始流行 。“另类右派”是宣传极端观点的极右翼运动，该运动主要通过互联网进行宣传 。
Gab网站在其推特主页上的简介为“由民众打造、所有并成立，目标是捍卫网络上的个人自由和自由表达” 。允许用户浏览并发表文章的服务名为“gabs” 。
为Gab网站提供托管服务的GoDaddy公司表示，他们决定结束服务，因为Gab网站违反了禁止鼓吹暴力的政策 。支付公司PayPal也禁止Gab网站使用其服务 。苹果和谷歌则以违反仇恨言论政策为由禁止Gab网站的应用程序销售 。
在周四发布在网上的采访中，托尔巴表示，当他得知匹兹堡枪击案嫌疑人曾在Gab网站发表帖文时，他感到“十分震惊” 。他说鲍尔斯明显违反了禁止“暴力和恐怖主义威胁”的公司政策 。但是托尔巴表示，在枪击案发生之前，他不知道鲍尔斯也不知道他的帖文内容 。
托尔巴表示，枪击案发生后，公司与美国执法官员全力合作，“将被指控的恐怖分子绳之以法” 。他还说，“基于我们提供的数据，他们现在掌握了案件的大量证据 。”
托尔巴在声明中表示，他的网站在匹兹堡枪击案发生之后被针对并遭受了新的指责，这是不公平的 。他表示，Gab网站的目标只是“捍卫所有人的自由言论” 。
他在声明中表示，“社交媒体经常显示出人性最好的一面和最糟糕的一面” 。他还表示，他正在努力寻找能提供服务的新合伙公司，使Gab网站能重返互联网 。
4chan和Reddit网站也是备受另类右派组织喜爱的网站 。这两家网站均提供可以让用户浏览并发表政治观点的服务 。
欧伦·西格尔是美国反诽谤联盟极端主义研究中心主任 。他在接受雅虎新闻的采访时表示，他的组织已经开始关注极端分子在互联网上的讨论，他们在讨论如果Gab网站永远关闭，那会发生什么 。他说，另一个在未经审查言论上与Gab网站持同样观点的网站可能会接手 。
西格尔表示，“这一讨论刚刚开始 。Gab网站被关并不是结束 。”