In the aftermath of the shooting in Buffalo, New York, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and several in the establishment media have once again turned their sights on social media.
Hochul signed an executive order to establish a domestic terrorism unit “focusing on monitoring social media.” State Attorney General Letitia James is launching an investigation of social media sites Twitch and Discord, which the shooter used to broadcast the shooting and post his racist screed. She described the shooter using social media websites before and during the shooting as “bone-chilling and unfathomable.”
The purpose of this is to further control social media websites. As the New York Times notes, Twitch did the best it could by taking down the video “within two minutes of the start of the violence.” After all, Twitch is a livestreaming platform with over 100,000 streamers going live per day. It would be impossible for the company to monitor every single stream from the moment it went live to the moment it ended.
But the New York Times hints that it wants Twitch to increase its barriers to entry. The shooting “raises the issue of whether the ability to livestream should be so easily accessible,” and the New York Times piece complains that Twitch “allows anyone with an account to go live.” YouTube requires users to verify their account, and in order to livestream from a mobile device, users must have at least 50 subscribers, the New York Times authors note. Wouldn’t it be great if Twitch shut out its smaller streamers and did the same?
CNN, meanwhile, is using the shooting to lash out at the usual political opponents. Brian Fung used the opportunity to criticize Texas over its law preventing major social media companies from viewpoint-based censorship. Fung contends that it would require Facebook to keep the “gruesome images” of the shooting up “between wedding photos and your aunt's tuna casserole recipe.” He also says the shooting “raises questions” about Elon Musk wanting to ease content moderation on Twitter.
Establishment media has targeted social media since a few memes were posted on Facebook by Russians during the 2016 election. These little-seen images became the scapegoat for Hillary Clinton's embarrassing loss. Every media piece that simply “raises questions” wants to strengthen the liberal vise grip on social media platforms. Hochul and the New York Times want to be the ones who decide how social media sites operate, which is why liberals became enraged when Musk began his campaign to buy Twitter.
Many on the left want to use an extreme situation (the Buffalo shooting) to impose even more controls and restrictions on social media sites that benefit them politically, given that those restrictions will be interpreted and enforced by left-wing social media executives and bureaucrats. That is what Hochul is hoping to achieve, and establishment media will be cheering her on the entire way.