Twitch and Discord Add Statements Following Buffalo Shooting

Twitch and Discord Add Statements Following Buffalo Mass Shooting 1

Following the tragic mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, Twitch and Discord both issued statements on the incident.

Twitch and Discord have each issued statements following the mass shooting that occurred in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, United States over this past weekend. Ten people were killed on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in what was believed to be a racially-motivated attack. The CNN report from yesterday confirmed there were thirteen victims, three were injured, ten were killed and eleven of them were Black.

Twitch verified the footage was streamed on their platform while the attack was preemptively planned on a private Discord server. Twitch told CNN the user/shooter responsible “has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.” They also mentioned that they removed the content in less than two minutes after the violent acts were perpetrated.

The 18-year-old White, male suspect was arrested at the Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, Saturday afternoon, heavily armed and in tactical gear and was confirmed to be livestreaming the attack with a camera based on the evening news conference by Buffalo Police Commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia.

Discord said their investigation would continue as there were allegedly detailed plans in the form of a 180-page manifesto on racist and anti-Semitic views. This was referenced on 4chan and discussed on Discord days prior to the shooting that took place. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families, and we will do everything we can to assist law enforcement in the investigation,” Discord said.

Twitch And Discord Add Statements Following Buffalo Mass Shooting 2

The suspect was said to have told authorities they were targeting members of the Black community and had travelled about 200 miles to get to that specific supermarket. “The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” said Commissioner Gramaglia. “This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”

This incident was not the first atrocity to be livestreamed publicly. There was also the murders of 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019, broadcast on Facebook, and the Twitch-streamed shootings in October 2019 surrounding a German synagogue. Facebook/Meta had been criticized for not acting on suspicious activity in Facebook chats before and issued multiple statements that they would try to monitor their platform more carefully.

This was not the first time Twitch and Discord were under the scope relating to hate crimes and harassment. “Hate raids” were prevalent last year and concerns were raised by users who started the hashtag called #TwitchDoBetter. In the past, Twitch and Discord stated that they had updated tools to better detect hate speech in their chats/chatrooms and would act as fast as they could, but the issue was also with how users could easily make new accounts if one account was shut down.

Twitch And Discord Add Statements Following Buffalo Mass Shooting 3

Twitch added in a statement to The New York Times, “Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents.” Various social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook have been struggling to detect these issues before they escalate to severe brutalities like in Buffalo or New Zealand; However, there has yet to be a solution to this massive problem. Buffalo community vigils and memorials for the victims have begun to take place as the investigation is underway with the apprehended suspect.

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