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Hochul saying social media company CEO’s must be held accountable

Police secure an area around a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. Officials said the gunman entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire. Investigators believe the man may have been livestreaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said on Sunday that CEOs of social media companies should be held accountable in cases where hate speech is not monitored online after a manifesto was posted by a suspected shooter who killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket the day before.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Hochul if the suspected shooter, Payton Gendron, was on law enforcement’s radar. He noted that the shooter drove hours to arrive at the supermarket after he posted a 180-page manifesto.

“Had he been on the radar of law enforcement at all?” Stephanopoulus asked. 

“Just as a high school student with respect to something he wrote in high school and was under the surveillance at the time with medical authorities,” Hochul replied. 

“But I don’t – I’m going to be investigating that very question, George. I want to know what people knew and when they knew it and calling upon law enforcement as well as our social media platforms.” 

“The CEOs of those companies need to be held accountable and assure all of us that they’re taking every step humanly possible to be able to monitor this information. How these depraved ideas are fermenting on social media – it’s spreading like a virus now,” Hochul told Stephanopoulos. 

“The white supremacy manifestos – the white supremacy concepts of replacement theory where they’re concerned and now taking to the streets in places like Charlottesville and others, motivated by this idea that immigrants and Jews and Blacks are going to replace whites,” Hochul added. “And that is spreading through social media platforms that need to be monitored and shut down the second these words are espoused.”

Authorities are investigating the supermarket shooting on Saturday that killed 10 people as a hate crime. The majority of the victims that Gendron targeted were Black. 

In a statement late Saturday, President Biden called for the end of “hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”

“Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America,” Biden said. “Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”

Tags ABC News Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo mass shooting Buffalo Police Department George Stephanopoulos hate crimes Hate crimes kathy hochul Kathy Hochul Kathy Hochul mass shooting New York

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