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Governor Kathy Hochul Says New York Has Started Conducting Special Media “Surveillance Efforts” To Monitor “Hate”

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In response to escalating incidents of harassment, particularly against Jewish and Muslim communities, New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul is today intensifying the state’s counterterrorism measures and is boosting the controversial practice of surveilling social media platforms, and therefore the speech of New Yorkers and other American citizens.

This measure follows ongoing tension in Israel and Gaza. Hochul revealed plans for enhancing the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel and assigning an extra $2.5 million to the State Police.

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“…we’re very focused on the data we’re collecting from surveillance efforts, what’s being said on social media platforms, and we have launched an effort to be able to counter some of the negativity and reach out to people,” Hochul said.

“When we see hate speech being spoken about on online platforms, our media analysis, our social media analysis unit has ramped up its monitoring of sites to catch incitement to violence, direct threats to others.

“And all this is in response to our desire, our strong commitment to ensure that not only do New Yorkers be safe, but they also feel safe.”

This isn’t the first time Hochul has stuck her nose into monitoring online speech.

A New York law aimed at regulating “hateful conduct” online was blocked by a judge. This law, signed by Governor Hochul, required social media networks to report and address hateful conduct, broadly defined as actions that vilify or incite violence based on various identity factors.

Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. ruled that the law violated the First Amendment, emphasizing the importance of protecting even hateful speech. The court argued that the law not only restricted the speech of social media users but also compelled social media networks to adopt and endorse the state’s definition of hateful conduct.

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