New York Attorney General Letitia James will investigate the role of social media companies played in the wake of the Buffalo shooting, Axios reports.
The investigation is intended to look into social media companies and other online resources and platforms that the alleged shooter might have used to discuss and spread the plan, which left ten people dead and three wounded outside of Tops Supermarket.
“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 a 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,” she added.
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.”
Platforms such as Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord will be the focus as they may have been used to stream, promote or plan the attack. The alleged shooter posted footage from the attack in real-time on Twitch. Twenty-two people viewed the live stream before it was removed. The platform stated that it managed to take down the live stream within two minutes after it started – even though the footage resurfaced on other social media platforms.
Discord has stated they would cooperate with the investigation and released a statement on Tuesday.
“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. 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.”