Letitia James

Twitch, Discord, 4chan, and 8chan all played a role in the white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo this weekend, according to the shooter himself.

New York Attorney General Letitia James wants to know exactly what role each one played.

On Wednesday, James announced in a tweet that she was launching an investigation into those four platforms, as well as any other online space that was used by the shooter to carry out his attack that left 10 people dead and 3 more injured.

“My office is launching investigations into the social media companies that the Buffalo shooter used to plan, promote, and stream his terror attack,” tweeted James. “We are investigating Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord, among others, all platforms that the shooter used to amplify this attack.”

The gunman released a 180-page document sharing his belief in a right wing, white supremacist conspiracy theory known as The Great Replacement. Also included were details about how he planned and carried out his attack. According to the shooter, he was radicalized on 4chan in 2020. That website has previously been used by other white supremacist mass shooters in order to disseminate their manifestos prior to their attacks. The shooter in Buffalo says he also used 8chan to share what he was plotting.

Along with those two fringe websites, the shooter also used two popular mainstream services: the livestreaming platform Twitch, and Discord, a community chat service. Logs released from the shooter’s private Discord channel show that he had used the platform as a diary, sharing thoughts that would turn into fatal reality just this past weekend. Some of his Discord messages were originally posted months ago.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families,” said a Discord spokesperson in a statement provided to Mashable. “Hate has no place on Discord and we are committed to combating violence and extremism.”

“What we know at this time is that a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log,” the Discord spokesperson continued. “Approximately 30 minutes prior to the attack, however, a small group of people were invited to and joined the server. Before that, our records indicate no other people saw the diary chat log in this private server.”

As for Twitch, the shooter used the streaming service to broadcast his act on video live across the internet. The stream lasted around 10 minutes.

“We are continuing to do everything we can to assist law enforcement and the investigation remains ongoing.” said Discord. “We will cooperate with the New York Attorney General’s investigation.”

Mashable has reached out to Twitch as well and will update this piece when we hear back.

“This terror attack again revealed the depths and dangers of these platforms that spread and promote hate without consequence,” James wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “We are doing everything in our power to stop this dangerous behavior now and ensure it never happens again.”

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