An investigation has been launched to determine the role of social media companies in the wake of last weekend’s shooting in Buffalo, New York. Attorney General Letitia James has announced that the inquisition will look into the role that the platforms played when it came to how the tragedy panned out.
The social media platforms in question include 4chan, 8chan, Discord, and Twitch where the alleged shooter posted real-time footage during the attack. Prior to being removed, the stream was viewed by 22 people. According to the report, the investigation will dive deep into how the companies were used to not only stream the attack but to promote and plan them as well.
“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” said James 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.”
James explained that the action is necessary to uncover the hate that is often spewed across social media platforms.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
On Saturday, May 14 Payton S. Gendron entered a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York and killed 10 people and wounded three others. Prior to the incident, Gendron invited people to view his chat logs in a private chat room on Discord. The company has agreed to a full investigation.
“What we know at this time is that a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log,” said a representative from the communications platform. “Approximately 30 minutes prior to the attack, however, a small group of people were invited to and joined the server. Before that, our records indicate no other people saw the diary chat log in this private server.”