The dilemma of anti-semitic speech online

Robert Bowers, the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue killer, had an online life like many thousands of anti-Semitic Americans. He had Twitter and Facebook accounts, and was an active user of Gab, a right-wing Twitter knock-off with a hands-off approach to policing speech. Among anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and slurs, Bowers had recently posted a picture of “a fiery oven like those used in Nazi concentration camps used to cremate Jews, writing the caption ‘Make Ovens 1488F Again,’” a white-supremacist reference.

Then, he made one last post, saying, “I’m going in,” and allegedly went to kill 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Then, and only then, down came his accounts, just like Cesar Sayoc’s, the mail-bombing suspect. This is how it goes now.