New York Gov. Kathy Hochul slammed social media platforms in the wake of the livestreamed mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday.
Payton Gendron, 18, allegedly was recording with a camera affixed to his helmet and broadcasting to Twitch when he killed 10 people in a racially-motivated attack at a Tops Friendly Market, police and reports said.
Hochul said social media outlets need to crack down on content concerning white supremacy and other dangerous ideologies and found it inexcusable that Gendron’s graphic stream wasn’t taken down “within a second.”
“These outlets must be more vigilant in monitoring social media content. And certainly, the fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be livestreamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second, says to me that there is a responsibility out there,” Hochul, a Buffalo native, told reporters at a press conference Saturday night.
“And we’re going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide these platforms have a moral and ethical, and I hope to have a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites, because this is the result,” she said.
Law enforcement officials said that Gendron drove three and a half hours from his home in Conklin in Broome County to the Buffalo supermarket — which is located in a predominantly black neighborhood.
Reportedly armed with multiple weapons and tactical body armor, Gendron opened fire in the grocery store parking lot before shooting more victims inside. Of the 13 people he shot, 11 were black and two were white.
A Twitch spokesperson told The Post the streaming service “has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents.”
The service said Gendron’s stream was taken down from the popular platform less than two minutes after the violence began.
“The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content,” the spokesperson added.
Clips from the stream still circulated on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets on Saturday.
Gendron had purportedly posted a hate-spewing white supremacist manifesto online, in which he claimed in a 180-page diatribe that he was “radicalized” on the internet during the early days of the pandemic while he was bored.
The self-described white supremacist and anti-Semite said he had been planning the attack since January, targeting the Buffalo neighborhood for its high concentration of black people, and laid out detailed plans for his deadly assault.
Hochul pledged to work with local, state and federal agencies to identify violent messages posted in online racist communities to prevent future acts of “white supremacist domestic terrorism”
“.You have individuals who use these platforms and talk to others who share these demented views and support each other, and talk about the techniques that they’ll engage in and post these ideas and share them with others, in the hope that they can all someday rise up in their demented view of the world,” she said. “That’s what white supremacist terrorism is all about.
That has to end “right now,” she said.
“We will continue to work at the federal, state, and local level with our community partners to help identify these messages as soon as they arise on social media,” Hochul said. “That is our best defense right now, as well as the legal system and the prosecution.”