Idaho state employees and legislators can no longer Gab on state computers and networks.
The controversial libertarian-leaning website Gab is now blocked by the Idaho state IT department.
“We do not specifically block this site,” said Jon Pope, Chief of Operations for IT Services in the Executive Office of the Governor. “However, as part of the automated protections in our firewall, this site falls into a security rating of ‘questionable.'”
The “free speech” website entered the zeitgeist in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings when it was discovered that minutes before the incident Robert Bowers posted “I’m going in” on the Gab. Bowers then allegedly killed 11 people and injured many more in the anti-semitic attack.
Searches indicate there are Idaho members of Gab, but it’s unclear how many, nor is it clear if the website had been frequented by state employees or individuals on the state system before the site was blocked.
Gab was accessible by state computers through the beginning of 2019 before it was flagged as a possible “threat introduced to our network,” said Pope.
Last November, Gab had 800,000 users, including far-right personalities like Richard Spencer and Alex Jones.
The site calls itself a laissez-faire platform for discussion but has been characterized by multiple scholars as a safe haven for hate speech.
Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit are still accessible through the Idaho state network.