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Mayor Byron Brown said Sunday that the shooting in his town of Buffalo, New York Saturday that left 10 people dead could be the final ‘turning point’ for gun legislation in the U.S. as the state’s Governor Kathy Hochul doubles down on pointing blame at social media companies.
‘I would like to see sensible gun control,’ Brown told NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday morning, adding that ‘hate speech’ is not ‘Free Speech.’
‘I believe what happened in Buffalo, New York yesterday is going to be a turning point,’ the mayor said. ‘I think it’s going to be different after this in terms of the energy and the activity that we see.’
Governor Hochul also spoke with NBC on Sunday morning where she again levied blame on the streaming site Twitch for being an accomplice in the massacre.
‘How long was it [the Buffalo shooting] livestreamed before someone paid attention?’ Hochul questioned to anchor Todd. ‘These [social media] companies make a lot of money, they’re very profitable. And In my judgment they have the opportunity to be doing far more monitoring and shut things down before it gets to this situation.’
Payton Gendron, 18, livestreamed his racially motivated mass shooting on Twitch, which is primarily used by video gamers to stream their virtual adventures.
Hochul praised her state on Sunday for having some of the most strict gun control laws in the nation, but insisted more needs to be done to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
‘It’s about access to guns,’ Hochul told NBC. ‘And in New York we have the toughest gun laws in the nation. But right now we have a case before the Supreme Court that could be decided in a matter of weeks that could allow people to have a gun that’s concealed – to walk into the Tops behind me with a concealed weapon this time.’
‘So we’ve got to deal with that access to guns.’
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Sunday that he feels the racially motivated shooting at Tops supermarket on Saturday will ‘be a turning point’ for gun control legislation in the U.S.
Payton Gendron 18, was taken into custody in Buffalo, New York on Saturday after opening fire at a supermarket and killing 10 people
Brown also discussed on Sunday the role of social media in the massacre, claiming that there needs to be ‘deliberate’ action on gun control as well as ending hate speech online.
‘I would like to see ending hate speech on the internet – on social media,’ the mayor said. ‘It is not free speech, it is not the American way. We are not a nation of hate. We need to send a message that there is no space on the internet for hate speech, for hate indoctrination, for spreading hate manifesto.’
‘So I’d like to see real, deliberate action on gun control and ending hate speech on the internet,’ Brown said.
‘I will be a strong voice for that. I’ve heard from mayors all over the country in the aftermath of this incident.’
He also spoke with CBS Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan on Sunday and demanded federal resources to assist Buffalo in recovery from the incident.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul doubled down on Sunday in blaming Twitch for allowing the live stream of the shooting. The social media streaming site told The Daily Mail that any account ‘posting real world violence are indefinitely suspended’ – and the video was taken down two minutes after it posted
‘We certainly would like additional federal resources for the city of Buffalo,’ Brown said, claiming he has been in contact with the White House, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
Hochul called streaming site Twitch an ‘accomplice’ in the murder of 10 people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, claiming social media has enabled killers like Gendron to glorify their crimes to huge audiences – and potentially encourage copy cats.
A source told DailyMail.com Saturday that the Twitch clip had been removed in under two minutes from when it was first uploaded.
But that cut little ice with Hochul, who said it should have been wiped within seconds.
The governor told the media in the aftermath of the shooting: ‘The social media platforms that profit from their existence need to be responsible for monitoring. They can in a sense become an accomplice if not legally, but morally.’
She continued: ‘These outlets must be more vigilant in monitoring social media content and certainly the fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be livestreamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second says to me that there is a responsibility out there.
‘And we’re going to continue to work on this and make sure that those who provide those platforms have a moral and ethical and I hope to have a legal responsibility to ensure that such hate cannot populate these sites.
Hochul told the media in the aftermath of the shooting that social media platforms should be able to remove violent content in a ‘second’ and blamed Twitch for being an ‘accomplice’ in the racially motivated massacre
‘Because this is the result when you have individuals who use these platforms and talk to others who share these demented views and support each other and talk about the techniques that they’ll engage in and post these ideas and share them with others in the hope that they can all someday rise up in their demented view of the world.’
A Twitch spokesperson told DailyMail.com that they are ‘devastated’ following the that was livestreamed on their platform.
According to the gaming giant, the livestream of Gendron’s racist rampage was removed from their platform in less than two minutes using a combination of human review and proactive detection.
In November 2022, Hochul will stand for election for a full term as governor of New York.
The governor said that she believes ‘social media platforms’ should be able to remove violent livestreams ‘in a second.’ In those comments, Hochul did not mention Twitch by name.
The governor said: ‘The fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be livestreamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second says to me that there is a responsibility.’
The full statement from Twitch read: ‘We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch 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.’
A Twitch spokesperson said that the tech’s giant’s teams were monitoring for any republishing of Gendron’s stream.
The company said that they were unaware of any video on demand copies of the livestream being made. Gendron did not use the video on demand option when doing his livestream, a spokesperson told DailyMail.com
If any users were found to have uploaded real world violent content, they face an indefinite suspension.
Twitch said that: ‘As in any situation like this, we will cooperate with law enforcement as appropriate.’ The company later told us that: ‘We have a zero tolerance policy against violence of any kind, and any accounts posting real world violence are indefinitely suspended.’
Gendron’s live stream was ephemeral video that disappears after being broadcast. Users can opt to save and store live streams but Twitch is unaware of any saved versions of the massacre.
In October 2019, 2200 people viewed a Twitch livestream of a mass shooting in a German synagogue, reported the BBC.
While in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque massacre of March 2019, which was livestreamed on Facebook by perpetrator Brenton Harrison Tarrant, trolls began spamming Twitch users with violent footage from that incident.