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New York Attorney General investigating Discord and Twitch over role in Buffalo mass shooting

The suspect behind a recent shooting in Buffalo reportedly used both platforms to plan and stream the attack.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

May 19, 2022

2 Min Read
The Twitch and Discord logos on a black background

Twitch and Discord are being investigated by the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James over their role in a recent terror attack in Buffalo, New York.

The attack took place earlier this month and saw 18-year old suspect Payton Gendron allegedly open fire in a grocery store, killing 10 people and wounding three. Since the shooting, authorities claim that Gendron planned his attacks on Discord and sought to target Buffalo's Black community. The attack was also briefly streamed on Twitch.

Following the shooting, James' office intends to look into how platforms including Twitch and Discord, both of which have sizeable video game communities, were used to "discuss and amplify his intentions and acts" to carry out the attack.

"The terror attack in Buffalo has once again revealed the depths and danger of the online forums that spread and promote hate. The fact that an individual can post detailed plans to commit such an act of hate without consequence, and then stream it for the world to see is bone-chilling and unfathomable," said Attorney General James.

"As we continue to mourn and honor the lives that were stolen, we are taking serious action to investigate these companies for their roles in this attack. Time and time again, we have seen the real-world devastation that is borne of these dangerous and hateful platforms, and we are doing everything in our power to shine a spotlight on this alarming behavior and take action to ensure it never happens again."

Speaking to CNN in the wake of the attack, Twitch said the user involved has been "indefinitely suspended" from the platform and that it's "taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content."

In a statement obtained by Eurogamer, Discord said it would "do everything" it can to assist law enforcement with their investigation.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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