New York Investigates Platforms for Roles in Buffalo Shooting

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · May 19, 2022

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On Wednesday, the AG promised to probe Twitch, Discord, 4chan, and other platforms the shooter used to amplify his attacks.

Launching an Investigation

Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, has said that her office is investigating several social media platforms. The reason - a gunman used them to promote and exhibit his actions. 

They include 

  • Twitch 
  • Discord 
  • 4chan
  • 8kun (formerly 8chan)

The incident occurred in a supermarket in East Buffalo, New York on Saturday. Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old, opened fire on shoppers, killing ten people and injuring three others in a racially-motivated attack. 

Law enforcement officials discovered afterward that Gendron had used various social media sites to plan and then stream the attack.

The Attorney General announced her investigation on Twitter on Wednesday.

According to James, the investigation will focus on platforms that Gendron used to “amplify” his attack.

The gunman live-streamed the shooting on Twitch, a platform with close to 30 million daily active users. Both the live stream and Gendron’s channel remained active until after the shooting. Users copied and shared his 180-page white supremacist manifesto on 4chan and other platforms.

“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” James said in an official statement. “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.”

It is not immediately clear what the scope of the investigation will cover.

Reactions

A spokesperson for Twitch said to CNN that the platform brought down the channel within two minutes of the video being streamed.

In a statement to the New York Times, Twitch insisted that it has a “zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind”. It also committed to taking “all appropriate actions”, including watching out for rebroadcasts of the taken-down content.

A Discord spokesperson said that it removed the server that Gendron used as soon as it became aware of the incident.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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