New Jersey Attorney General Also Investigating Discord and Twitch After Buffalo Shooting

The Acting Attorney General of New Jersey has launched an investigation into Twitch and Discord to see if the platforms violated hateful and extremist content laws in the wake of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo. . In one Notification Announced Monday, New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin wrote that the purpose of the investigation is to find out whether policy or regulatory failures have allowed the platforms to become mediators. spreading extremist content, especially among young people or not. The investigation after a the same, similar was brought forward by New York Attorney General Letitia James last week.

The 18-year-old accused of shooting 13 people at a Tops supermarket, killing 10 people — used Discord to spread white supremacy and live-streamed the attack on Twitch. In a series of online posts, he credits memes and racist discussions on 4chan that specifically inspired him. aimed at black people for deadly violence. Eleven of the Buffalo shooting victims were Black. The events of May 14 have been called a “hate crime” by the Justice Department and “an act of racially motivated violent extremism” and are being investigated by the Department of Justice. The suspect, whom Engadget chose not to name so as not to add to the notoriety he sought, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

“These social media platforms have a huge reach, especially with young people, and have shown them to be a base for hateful and extremist content that can radicalize children. and others,” said Acting AG Platkin. “New Jersey has a significant interest in investigating how these companies moderate and ban content that could harm consumers. Under New Jersey law, law firms must deliver on their promises, and the existence of violent extremism and hateful behavior on these platforms casts doubt on censorship policies and practices. and enforce their intended content. “

In one blog postDiscord revealed that the alleged shooter kept a diary of his plans on a private server on the platform. About half an hour before the attack, he shared an invitation to the server “in a handful of other private servers and a direct message.” In total, 15 users clicked on his invitation, according to the company. The suspect also live-streamed the attack on Twitch with the help of a helmet-mounted Go-Pro camera. Twitch remove The original live stream was two minutes after it was posted and there were about 22 viewers watching at the time of the broadcast. Copies of the footage, however, have continue to proliferate on multiple social media platforms.

A Discord spokesperson said that the company plans to cooperate with the New Jersey attorney general’s investigation. Engadget also reached out to Twitch for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

It is not clear whether New York and New Jersey will coordinate the investigation. (Engadget has reached out to the New Jersey attorney general’s office and will update if we receive a response.) While New York follows state executive law that allow to investigate “issues relating to public peace, public safety, and justice,” New Jersey is instead leveraging the state’s Consumer Fraud Act. “Companies can’t advertise that they’ll do one thing, then do another,” said Cari Fais, Acting Director of New Jersey’s Consumer Affairs Division. then letting it grow unchecked with potentially harmful or even deadly consequences, is against the law. ”

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