THIS IS DISGUSTING
Early Saturday, moments before the police say he barged into a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire, Robert D. Bowers’s anti-Semitic rage finally boiled over and he posted one last message online.
But he didn’t turn to Facebook or Twitter. Instead, the man accused of killing at least 11 people went to Gab, a two-year-old social network that bills itself as a “free speech” alternative to those platforms, and that has become a haven for white nationalists, neo-Nazis and other extremists. There, he posted a signoff to his followers.
“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” Mr. Bowers wrote. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
The shooting in Pittsburgh came on the heels of another violent episode involving social media extremism. Cesar Sayoc Jr., the suspect in the pipe bomb mailing campaign, had a history of posting hateful and violent messages on Facebook and Twitter that were laced with misinformation and conspiracy theories.
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