AG: N.J. will probe if Twitch & Discord fail to moderate ‘violent extremism’ after Buffalo slayings


New Jersey officials will probe if Twitch and Discord fail to moderate “violent extremism” in wake of the Buffalo slayings on May 14th, Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced.

Photo via IGN.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The 18-year-old accused shooter briefly streamed the killings on Twitch and allegedly planned it via Discord.

The probe seeks to determine if lax content moderation and policy enforcement on the part of Discord and Twitch allow the platforms to serve as hubs for extremist and violent networking and community building, and as entry points for children to come into contact with extremist ideologies.

“These social media platforms have enormous reach, especially with young people, and have shown themselves to be staging grounds for hateful and extremist content that may radicalize children and others,” Platkin said in a statement.

“New Jersey has a substantial interest in investigating how these companies moderate and prohibit content that may harm consumers. Under New Jersey law companies must deliver on their promises, and the persistence of violent extremism and hateful conduct on these platforms casts doubt on their purported content moderation and enforcement policies and practices.”

The investigation also focuses on how those moderation polices are applied to minors and children under 13 who use the sites.

“We will use our authority under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act to protect our residents,” added Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs Cari Fais.

“Companies cannot advertise that they will do one thing, then do another. If these platforms represent that they will proactively moderate or prohibit violent extremism and hate, and then let it flourish unchecked with potentially harmful or even deadly consequences, it is unlawful.”

The New York Attorney General’s Office is also investigating what roles Twitch and Discord, as well as 4chan and 8chan, played in the domestic terrorism incident that left 10 dead and three injured.

A Twitch representative told CNN that they identified and removed the stream in less than two minutes, with Discord offering condolences to the victims and their families, also noting they plan to fully cooperate with law enforcement.

The 180-page manifesto of the suspected gunman mentioned Jersey City, Lakewood, and Toms River and when asked about that prior to an active shooter training on Saturday, Mayor Steven Fulop noted that the city is in regular contact with the FBI and that there are no active threats.

“We have active communications with the FBI nearly daily. What we’ve done since then is increase [police] presence on the south side of the community, predominantly the African-American areas of the city because we want to make sure people feel safe,” he said at the time.

“There are no active threats to Jersey City, when you read that manifesto that the shooter of Buffalo wrote, he clearly spoke to somebody who was deranged and had psychological issues.”

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