New York officials try to keep videos of murders and other violence off the Internet – NBC New York

Two top New York state officials on Tuesday called on lawmakers to ban the creation of murder videos, citing the viral spread online of footage aired by a gunman while he was murdering black shoppers and workers during a period of time. racist mass shooting In Buffalo Supermarket.

Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Cathy Hochhol, both Democrats, have recommended state legislation that would criminalize photos or videos created by a killer, and impose “substantial” civil penalties on online platforms that do not take “reasonable steps” to stop such recordings from circulating.

The recommendations are contained in a report examining the role of online platforms in May 14 attack on Top Friendly Market in which 10 people were killed.

James’s office report found that the most viral video of the shooting began to rocket across the Internet within minutes of being uploaded to a mysterious file-sharing site by a single person in Washington state, who then shared a link. The link and video continued to circulate for days, including on Twitter and other major sites, despite efforts by some social media to remove them.

However, the report concluded that the platforms could not be held legally liable “in light of the current state of the law.”

“There are no laws in the books that directly address the behavior in question here, not even to distribute an uncensored video clip made by an attacker killing another person in cold blood,” she added.

The 19-year-old is accused of killing 10 people and wounding three others in the mass shooting. He detailed his plans and white supremacist views in a private diary on the Discord chat platform, which he posted shortly before the attack began.

The shooter broadcast the attack live on the Twitch gaming platform, which is owned by Amazon. Twitch removed the video in less than two minutes. But a small number of about 28 people who tuned in to part of his broadcast traded the recordings.

New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but even that wasn’t enough to stop a gunman from killing 10 shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, this month. In the wake of another mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, Texas, NBCLX storyteller Ngozi Iclidu takes a look at New York’s gun laws and why gun control advocates say they still aren’t going far enough.

The report said the video link posted by a Washington state resident was removed by the moderator of 4chan, an anonymous message board, after just 30 minutes. But by that time, other users had reposted the link about 75 times.

Shortly thereafter, the link began appearing on major websites, including Twitter within 17 minutes and on Reddit within an hour. In the following days, the link was posted and republished on these and other sites thousands of times.

Hochul and James called for changes to the Federal Communications Decency Act to require companies to take reasonable steps to prevent violent criminal content, while acknowledging that platforms can demand the First Amendment and other protections.

“Extremist content is thriving online, and we must all work together to confront this crisis and protect our children and communities,” James said.

The shooter wrote in his online memoir that he was partially inspired by the violent videos and writings accessible across various platforms, notably through a video he saw on 4chan of the mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“By his own account, the Buffalo shooter’s path toward becoming a white supremacist terrorist began with this clip,” the report said.

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