New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday that her office has launched an investigation into Twitch, Discord, 4chan, 8kun (previously 8chan), and other web and social media platforms in response to the racist attack in Buffalo, New York. The investigation will focus on “platforms that may have been used to stream, promote, or plan the event.”
James is focusing her attention on the platforms the shooter used to “discuss and amplify” the attack. The gunman reportedly planned his attack in a private server on Discord before the shooting. In a document written by the shooter, he mentions using and getting influenced by both 4chan and 8chan, two sites known for a lack of moderation.
“As we continue to mourn and honor the lives that were stolen, we are taking serious action to investigate these companies for their roles in this attack,” James said in a statement.
My office is launching investigations into the social media companies that the Buffalo shooter used to plan, promote, and stream his terror attack.
We are investigating Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord, among others, all platforms that the shooter used to amplify this attack.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) May 18, 2022
On Saturday, a white supremacist gunman killed 10 people and injured three in an attack targeting a Black community. He streamed the entire attack on Twitch, which was later shared on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms even as the networks worked to take them down.
A Discord spokesperson said the company “will cooperate” with the investigation. The spokesperson, who asked to not be named due to the sensitive subject matter, said that the shooting suspect’s Discord server was private until about 30 minutes before the attack when it was shared with a “small group” of people. “We are continuing to do everything we can to assist law enforcement and the investigation remains ongoing,” the spokesperson said.
Samantha Faught, a Twitch spokesperson also told The BlueHillco that the company is “cooperating with the NY Attorney General’s investigation.”
Update May 21st, 10:11AM ET: Updated to add a statement from Twitch.