The New York attorney general, Letitia James, has announced Twitch and Discord will be investigated for the role they played in the recent racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo.
Last night (May 19) James announced the investigation saying that both social media platforms will be individually evaluated, as well as the “months” of online posts from the perpetrator. 4chan and 8chan – which were also used by the killer to plan his attack – will also be included.
On May 14, the shooting’s perpetrator travelled to a Buffalo supermarket to carry out the attack, which he live streamed the first two minutes of before it was eventually removed by Twitch. The terrorist attack killed ten people and wounded three others.
Prior to the attack, it was confirmed that the killer used Discord to promote their plan alongside white supremacist theories, they also used the platform to discuss potential predominantly Black locations to carry out their attack as well.
“The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate,” 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.
“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.”
Following the mass shooting, both Twitch and Discord released statements, with Twitch saying that the perpetrator “has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”