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Hochul urges social media scrutiny in light of Buffalo massacre

May 16, 2022 1:00 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics that on May 15 Gov. Kathy Hochul called for limiting the spread of hate and white supremacy online in the wake of the mass shooting in Buffalo the day before that killed 10 people and injured three. “It’s spreading like a virus now,” she said on ABC's "This Week." Police believe the alleged shooter was motivated in part by racist conspiracy theories such as the so-called replacement of white people by immigrants. Hochul said she is worried that copycat crimes could happen. It's not clear what action the Hochul administration or state lawmakers may take in response. In her State of the State address, Hochul called for efforts to better scrutinize social media postings to identify potential hate crimes before they occur. The governor voiced support for strengthening the State Police's Social Media Analysis Unit to perform a daily review of publicly available social media activity. The proposal was focused on monitoring school violence threats, gang activity and illegal firearms. Hochul on May 15 indicated the alleged shooter Payton Gendron was not known to law enforcement, but according to reporting by the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin, a law enforcement official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said that as a student, Gendron threatened to attack his own high school in Conklin, Broome County. The threat was reviewed by state authorities last year and resulted in a referral for a mental health evaluation. In another interview on National Public Radio, Hochul said the weapon allegedly used in the shooting was purchased legally in New York, but the high-capacity magazine is barred under state law. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.