Reports went viral quickly on Friday evening that Gab was offline, and posters on Twitter showed concern over the rapidly growing social media platform’s disappearing act because their Twitter account for the platform was also shut down.
The service’s website posted a message reading: “We encountered an error processing your request. Please try again in a few seconds.”
Gab Posters and Gab TV went offline, and Gab’s tweets were not visible on Twitter. Considering the history of recent attacks on Parler, a new social media platform, and with Twitter banning many conservative posters, it was not a stretch for some people to believe that Gab was experiencing a possible coordinated attack.
Someone posted a screenshot from Gab.
Gab seems to be down (not full ss because I don't wanna dox myself) pic.twitter.com/rvw9ha6OsI
— Takes from Gab???????????? (@takes_of_gab) February 20, 2021
Strangely, Gab’s website went down within the same time period the site’s account was banned or suspended, or somehow taken offline, from Twitter or the owner.
The New York Post reported on the story, saying that Gab went dark:
“Gab, a social network… that exploded in popularity after the riots at the US Capitol, was offline Friday evening, and its Twitter account also went dark.
Twitter users first started posting that the website and its associated social media account went down at around 6:30 p.m. Eastern time.
At least one Twitter user who claimed to be on Gab just before it went dark Friday night speculated that the site was hacked as a part of a cryptocurrency scam. The Post could not verify that theory.
The website’s founder, Andrew Torba, could not be immediately reached for comment.”
One technical poster wrote, “Gab is currently down. DNS is misconfigured. The site is accessible using a hosts file to resolve the address, but also appears to be malfunctioning.”
Numerous posters on Gab posted that he believed the outage was due to rapid growth.
…and Gab is down for the moment. It happens periodically because their growth is so fast. Gotta be patient.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) February 20, 2021
Gab is down right now, doing some expected maintenance. They are growing at a rapid rate, and doing one hell of a job accessing the growth and keeping the site running smooth.
Give it some time, they'll be back up shortly.
— Matt Couch (@RealMattCouch) February 20, 2021
One poster mentioned that the owner of Gab had taken his Twitter down in the past:
The Twitter account gets taken down by Torba every so often, and I’d assume the site is just down for routine maintenance. Probably nothing to worry about
— Jack Hadfield ???????????? (@JackHadders) February 20, 2021
At the same time, unconfirmed reports from one longtime journalist indicate a new type of censorship is forming from a combined Big Tech and White House alliance. Censorship of any type makes Americans anxious, especially after watching Big Tech censor the United States president.
There is so little trust for Media, Big or Politicians right now that stories like sites going down tend to cause people to be anxious.
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) February 19, 2021
Fortune reported on Gab’s founding in 2017, “A crowdfunding campaign for Gab, a Twitter-like social network that touts its commitment to freedom of speech, surpassed $1 million yesterday.
The company claims it is politically neutral and committed to free speech, but its service is particularly popular among the far right. Interest in the service has surged in parallel with efforts by social networks like Twitter and Facebook to crack down on hate speech and harassment.”
Mark Dice, a longtime conservative pundit, journalist, and activist, took the opportunity to tell people about the ap for Gab and posted:
:If you downloaded the “Gab+” app from the app store, it’s NOT Gab. It’s an imposter. Gab was banned from the app stores years ago. You have to use a browser, but you can use the “save to home screen” option to put the icon on your phone, and it will work like an app.
If/ when Gab does get back online, make sure to follow David Harris Jr.
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) February 5, 2021
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She is a Homeschool Mom in North Carolina and loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism. @Saorsa1776