Twitch, Discord, And 4Chan To Be Investigated In Relation To Buffalo Terrorist Attack
New York's Attorney General, Letitia James is going to investigate Twitch, Discord, 4Chan, and 8Chan in relation to the recent terrorist attack in Buffalo. The mass shooting, described as "racially motivated violent extremism," was planned on Discord and streamed for two minutes on Twitch. Ten people were killed and three more injured. The shooter, Payton Gendron, claims to have been radicalised on 4Chan.
"The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate," James said, as reported by Eurogamer. "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."
Twitch is working with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the NYPD’s Cyber Intelligence Unit "to ensure they have access to any and all information that will aid in the investigation and prosecution of this heinous crime," described by President Joe Biden as "domestic terrorism." Twitch wrote, "This was a violent act of white supremacy, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms."
Bungie also released a statement which read, "it is time we begin to examine our practices and see what part we can play in preventing these tragedies […] We hope our colleagues in game development and gaming communities continue to examine their own platforms and invest in practices to combat bigotry in all its manifestations. We believe games and their communities should be a force for good and we are committed to that."
The Attorney General's investigation will look into months of posts shared by the killer in order to determine why nothing was done to prevent the planned attack. Moderation on these platforms and within video games is often automated, meaning it's easy for people to skirt the rules unless someone reports them directly. One report alleges that VRChat is being used to groom children.
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