- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2022

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reprimanded social media company executives on Sunday over how radicalization may spread online and lead to physical harm in the wake of a mass shooting in Buffalo. 

The White shooter killed 10 people at a grocery store in a mostly Black neighborhood in Buffalo on Saturday and Ms. Hochul told ABC she would investigate what law enforcement and social media companies knew about the shooter’s behavior ahead of the deadly attack.

The shooter published a manifesto online espousing White supremacist ideas, according to reports. 

“The CEOs of those companies need to be held accountable and assure all of us that they’re taking every step humanly possible to be able to be monitoring this information, how these depraved ideas are fermenting on social media,” Ms. Hochul told “This Week.” “It’s spreading like a virus now, the White supremacy manifestos.” 

The 18-year-old shooter’s manifesto indicated he learned and shared White supremacist ideas online during the coronavirus pandemic, according to NBC.

While the killer intended to broadcast the deadly attack, the video-streaming service Twitch told CNN it removed the shooter’s video in under two minutes after the violence started. 

Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about how to stop hate from spreading digitally, Ms. Hochul replied that the social media companies did not do enough monitoring. 

“These companies have a lot of money, they have resources, they have technology,” she said. “Keywords show up, they need to be identified, someone needs to watch this and to shut it down the second it appears. And short of that, I, we’ll protect the right to free speech but there is a limit.”

Ms. Hochul said she did not view hate speech as protected speech.


• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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