On the same day that she suggested Twitch was an “accomplice” to the Buffalo mass shooting, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said “hate speech is not protected” and called for platforms to implement real-time censorship measures that takedown certain categories of content within seconds of it being posted.
Hochul made the comments on Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” where she discussed Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, New York where 10 people were killed and three people were injured.
“The CEOs of those companies need to be held accountable and assure all of us that they’re taking every step humanly possible to be monitoring this information,” Hochul said.
Hochul continued by insisting that social media platforms use their resources, technology, and employees to constantly monitor keywords associated with “depraved ideas” and “white supremacy manifestos” and then censor associated content in real-time.
“These companies have a lot of money, they have resources, they have technology,” Hochul said. “Keywords show up. They need to be identified, someone needs to watch this and to shut it down the second it appears.”
The New York Governor followed up by vowing to protect free speech but not hate speech:
“We’ll protect the right to free speech but there is a limit. There is a limit to what you can do and hate crime…hate speech is not protected.”
Despite Hochul’s assertion that hate speech isn’t protected, the US Supreme Court has unanimously reaffirmed that there’s no hate speech exception to the First Amendment.
While Hochul spent most of her appearance blaming social media platforms for hate speech, host George Stephanopoulos did note that “it is so clear that so much planning went into this massacre” and questioned whether the shooter had “been on the radar of law enforcement at all.”
Hochul briefly acknowledged that law enforcement had been aware of the shooter as a high school student for “something he wrote” and said she would “be investigating that very question” before flipping the focus back to social media platforms.
State police had picked up the shooter last June and referred him to a hospital after he threatened violence in comments made to other students and indicated that he wanted to do a shooting. However, he was released a day and a half later.
After Saturday’s mass shooting, Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said on Sunday that “there was nothing picked up on the state police intelligence, nothing picked up on the FBI intelligence” about the shooter.