Racist manifesto of Buffalo mass shooter widely shared on Facebook and Twitter

New York lawmakers are calling for broad changes to state and federal laws after a new report on the Buffalo mass shooting found the gunman was “radicalized” by fringe online platforms.

A report released by AG Letitia James and Governor Kathy Hochul found shooter Payton Gendron relied on platforms and forums such as 4chan, Reddit, Discord, Twitch and YouTube at various stages leading up to the May filming.

Gendron, 19, has been charged with 27 counts – including hate crimes and firearms – for the shooting and killing of 10 cold-blooded black people at a Tops supermarket. He pleaded not guilty and has been in custody since May.

The gunman’s access to certain online content not only enabled him to “radicalize” but also gave him practical tips on how to carry out the attack, the report said.

“We must also reduce the ability of perpetrators of these crimes to publicize their crimes and promote their hateful ideology in the process,” James said in the report.

She and Hochul are now calling for tighter regulation of online platforms to prevent similar attacks and the sharing of violent content, including:

  • Bring criminal charges against those who made homicide videos or images
  • Civil penalties for those who share the content
  • Changes to federal law that would penalize online platforms if they publish violent content on their sites
  • Authenticate users of live content and possibly delay live broadcasts so that they can be violently moderated
  • Transparency of online platforms in moderation processes and restrictions on hateful, extremist or racist content
  • Industry-wide programs and technologies for monitoring content – and domains and web hosting companies “stand between online platforms and users”

Payton Gendron carried out 'Great Alternative'-inspired genocide at Tops supermarket in May, killing 10

Payton Gendron carried out ‘Great Alternative’-inspired genocide at Tops supermarket in May, killing 10

Ten people (pictured) were killed in the shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. Gendron's attacks were aimed at black people and were inspired by radical ideologies he encountered on internet platforms

Ten people (pictured) were killed in the shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. Gendron's attacks were aimed at black people and were inspired by radical ideologies he encountered on internet platforms

Ten people (pictured) were killed in the shooting at a Buffalo supermarket. Gendron’s attacks were aimed at black people and were inspired by radical ideologies he encountered on internet platforms

Gendron said in his book that he targeted the Tops supermarket because many black people shop there

Gendron said in his book that he targeted the Tops supermarket because many black people shop there

Gendron said in his book that he targeted the Tops supermarket because many black people shop there

The 47-page report exposes how online platforms contributed to the Buffalo mass shooting and goes on to make recommendations to prevent others from happening.

“Hate and division have long raged on online platforms — and the consequences have been devastating, as we’ve seen in my hometown of Buffalo,” Hocher said in a statement released at the time of the report’s release. .

Letitia James said: “Online platforms should be held accountable for allowing hateful and dangerous content to spread on their platforms.

“Extremist content thrives online, and we must all come together to tackle this crisis and protect our children and communities.”

“We’ve seen this in Christchurch, Charlottesville, El Paso and Buffalo, and we can’t wait for another tragedy to act,” she added.

The AG's report suggests that Gendron relies on forums like Reddit to understand what tactical gear he will eventually use on the shoot

The AG's report suggests that Gendron relies on forums like Reddit to understand what tactical gear he will eventually use on the shoot

The AG’s report suggests that Gendron relies on forums like Reddit to understand what tactical gear he will eventually use on the shoot

The New York State Attorney General's Office released the 47-page report that said similar cyber forces were responsible for the Christchurch, Charlottesville and El Paso shootings

The New York State Attorney General's Office released the 47-page report that said similar cyber forces were responsible for the Christchurch, Charlottesville and El Paso shootings

The New York State Attorney General’s Office released the 47-page report that said similar cyber forces were responsible for the Christchurch, Charlottesville and El Paso shootings

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul calls for investigation into role of internet platforms in shootings in tribute to victims

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul calls for investigation into role of internet platforms in shootings in tribute to victims

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul calls for investigation into role of internet platforms in shootings in tribute to victims

The report also examines how Gendron was able to disseminate the racist manifestos that accompanied his attacks.

Supporting the manifesto was ideology, such as “white genocide” as a “great alternative,” the report found.

The report said the gunman’s manifesto was “the product of different racist theories and memes, largely copied from extremist message boards and manifestos left by past mass shooters.”

According to the report, “white genocide” describes the decline of the white race and the idea that it is being replaced by other racial groups.

“The Great Replacement” is a theory that a decline in white birth rates combined with immigration will lead to the genocide of the white race.

The report harshly criticized fringe online platform 4chan, which allows users to share photos and threads, as “closely associated” with Gendron’s indoctrination of a culture of hate on the internet.

Another, Discord, is an online messaging platform the shooter is accused of using to keep a diary ahead of the attack. He also used Discord to live stream the attack on the day of the shoot and invite others to watch it.

It found that Gendron was relying on Reddit to understand the kind of tactical clothing and gear he ended up wearing while filming in the supermarket.

Gendron also participated in “subreddits” informing him of the type of ammunition he would use in premeditated attacks.

Video streaming platform Twitch is another platform Gendron uses to broadcast violence.

The report even involved YouTube, as Gendron used the site to watch videos instructing him on how to modify his gun to accept a detachable magazine.

Gov. Kathy Hochul outside the supermarket where the Gendron racist shooting took place.Buffalo is Hocher's hometown

Gov. Kathy Hochul outside the supermarket where the Gendron racist shooting took place.Buffalo is Hocher's hometown

Gov. Kathy Hochul outside the supermarket where the Gendron racist shooting took place.Buffalo is Hocher’s hometown

Gendron posted pictures online of the gun he used in the attack.He wrote vulgar text on it, including the names of other white supremacists

Gendron posted pictures online of the gun he used in the attack.He wrote vulgar text on it, including the names of other white supremacists

Gendron posted pictures online of the gun he used in the attack.He wrote vulgar text on it, including the names of other white supremacists

FBI investigators at the scene of the shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo

FBI investigators at the scene of the shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo

FBI investigators at the scene of the shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo

The report recommends restrictions on live broadcasts, suggesting “verification requirements and tape delays” would help mitigate first-person violence in video streams.

The report also examined how graphic content related to the Buffalo shooting was allowed to circulate online.

It proposes new legislation to punish those involved in the dissemination of homicide-related images or videos.

“Such videos are an extension of the original criminal act designed to incite or solicit other criminal acts,” the report reads.

Certain legislation also protects online platforms from liability for the material they host on their websites.​​​ The report recommends that “reasonable measures should be taken to prevent illegal and criminal content from appearing on the platform”.

The report also targets companies involved in web hosting and domain name registrations, as they are “between edge sites and users.”

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