Social media platform Gab's website, Twitter account are down

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The website for Gab, a social media platform known for attracting a far-right audience, abruptly went offline on Friday.

As of 8 p.m. ET, attempts to reach Gab’s website relayed a message that it’s “web server is down.” The cause of the website outage was not immediately clear. Gab’s Twitter account, @getongab, was also offline. 

“We encountered an error processing your request. Please try again in a few seconds,” the website says.

Representatives for Gab did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the situation. Twitter representatives said the platform did not take any enforcement action against Gab’s account.

Gab describes itself as a “social network that champions free speech, individual liberty and the free flow of information online.” Critics have denounced the site as a haven for QAnon conspiracy theorists and other far-right extremists.

Google banned Gab from its Play Store in 2017, citing violations of its policy against hate speech. Apple blocked Gab from its App Store that same year.

Gab drew widespread scrutiny earlier this month after several outlets erroneously reported that former President Donald Trump had begun using the platform following his bans from Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream services. Gab CEO Andrew Torba later shot down the rumor in a blog post.

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“@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years. We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it,” Torba said.

Torba recently said the site’s user base surged after Trump’s social media accounts were banned.

Tech platforms cracked down on content following reports that participants in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol used online forums to coordinate their actions. Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores. The platform briefly went offline after Amazon said it would no longer provide its web services, though it has since resurfaced with a new host.

Several prominent conservative politicians, including Trump, have accused tech firms of censoring conservative voices.

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