New York Takes Aim At Social Media After Buffalo Tragedy
Top New York officials are launching investigations into social media companies for their alleged roles in the Buffalo supermarket shooting.
10 Killed at Tops Supermarket in Buffalo
Payton Gendron, 18, is accused of murdering 10 people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo last Saturday and injuring three others.
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her office is now going to investigate social media companies to see what the companies could have done to help stop the attack.
“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” James stated. “The fact that an individual can post detailed plans to commit such an act of hate without consequence, and then stream it for the world to see is bone-chilling and unfathomable. As we continue to mourn and honor the lives that were stolen, we are taking serious action to investigate these companies for their roles in this attack. Time and time again, we have seen the real-world devastation that is borne of these dangerous and hateful platforms, and we are doing everything in our power to shine a spotlight on this alarming behavior and take action to ensure it never happens again.”
New York Attorney General To Investigate Social Media Companies
New York Attorney General's Office plans to investigate Amazon-owned Twitch, as well as, 4chan, 8chan and Discord. Other social media companies may also be investigated, officials say.
"The investigations will look into the social media companies and other online resources that the shooter used to discuss and amplify his intentions and acts to carry out this attack. Specifically, the investigations will focus on those platforms that may have been used to stream, promote, or plan the event," James stated.
Gendron allegedly opened fire at the store on Saturday in what officials have called a racially motivated hate crime. He reportedly posted online for months about his hatred for some races while also promoting white supremacist theories.
"Those postings included detailed information about plans to carry out an attack in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo and his visits to the site of the shooting in the weeks prior. The shooter also streamed the attack on another social media platform, which was accessible to the public, and posted a 180-page manifesto online about his bigoted views," James added.
The 18-year-old also allegedly posted plans he had to terrorize an elementary school, church, and other locations he believed would have a lot of black people.
Gendron is expected to be back in court Thursday. The teen pleaded not guilty, he’s currently behind bars without bail.