ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James is launching an investigation into social media companies following the mass shooting that killed 10 people and injured three others in Buffalo this past Saturday.
“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” Attorney General James said. “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.”
Specifically, James says her office’s investigation will look into the digital mediums the suspected shooter “used to discuss and amplify his intentions and acts to carry out this attack.” This will include Twitch, 4chan, 8chan and Discord.
Twitch, a video streaming platform, is owned by Amazon. The Buffalo shooter live-streamed his attack on the site. Twitch took down the video and said it has been making efforts to make sure it does not reappear.
James’ office said the suspect reportedly posted about his hatred for specific groups of people for months, while promoting white supremacist theories. The Attorney General’s Office also says the suspect reportedly “discussed potential plans to terrorize an elementary school, church, and other locations he believed would have a considerable community of Black people to attack.”
These postings reportedly shared information about the suspect’s plans to attack people in Buffalo, as well as his prior visits to the area earlier this year.
“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,” James said. “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.”