Livestreamed shooting leaves 10 people dead in Buffalo

A gunman who killed 10 people on Saturday at Buffalo, New York, supermarket broadcast the attack on Twitch, a livestreaming site.

The suspected shooter, an 18-year-old white man identified as Payton Gendron from Conklin, New York, was arrested after opening fire at the Tops Friendly Market, striking 13. Eleven of the victims were Black, and officials said the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

Twitch said it removed the livestream from its platform within two minutes of the violence starting at the grocery store.

In a statement, a Twitch spokeswoman said the site “has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”

In the wake of the violence, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul slammed social media companies, saying “feeding frenzy” of hate exists on the platforms and that social media companies needed to be “more vigilant” in monitoring content.

“The fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be live streamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second, says to me that there is a responsibility out there,” Hochul, a Democrat, said in remarks after the shooting.

“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 added.

The alleged gunman also posted a 180-page hate-filled manifesto to 4chan, in which he spouted anti-immigrant views and described his plan to target Black people.

The attack marks the latest incident in which a violent act has been livestreamed for the public, raising questions about the responsibility of platforms like Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.

In 2019, a gunman in Christchurch, New Zealand, used Facebook to livestream at attack that killed 50 Muslim worshipers at two mosques. Later that year, a gunman in Germany used Twitch to livestream an attack outside a synagogue that killed two people.

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