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The daily use of Gab is climbing Vide
PostSubject: The daily use of Gab is climbing   The daily use of Gab is climbing Icon_minitimeSun Dec 02, 2018 2:18 am

Just a month ago, a gunman opened fire in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, killing 11 worshipers. The alleged shooter’s anti-Semitic ideology had simmered for years in online forums, where he found company and support among white supremacists and others in the far right. His last social media post before the shootings read, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” That was on Gab, a social media network that held itself out as a “free speech alternative” and was known for its users’ extremist views.

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Experts quickly connected the alleged shooter, a truck driver named Robert Bowers, with Gab’s anti-Semitism by reviewing his posts, which were publicly available but have since been removed from the site, which itself was shuttered for several days after the attack but is once again available. When the Southern Poverty Law Center analyzed Bowers’s posts, it identified central themes that included “white genocide” and “globalism” — a buzzword often referring to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Similar analyses of his posts presented equivalent conclusions.
We have a unique set of data that includes not just all of Bowers’s Gab posts but also all Gab posts since the site launched in 2016. The daily use of Gab is climbing. When the Pittsburgh shooting occurred, we recognized that our data could tell us more about both the accused shooter and his network — and possibly offer clues about who might escalate from online hate to violence.

What did the alleged Pittsburgh shooter talk about on Gab, and with whom?
We used a custom API to scrape every post, reply and quote from every user on Gab, reaching back to the site’s launch in 2016. Our database includes all Gab posts, even those users subsequently deleted from the site. We used text-analysis methods in Python to analyze the massive volume of data.
Since joining Gab in January 2018, Bowers contributed 998 posts and replies to others’ posts. With text analytics of his nearly 1,000 posts, replies and quotes, we found overwhelmingly anti-Semitic ideations.

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