May 17, 2022 5 min read

Social media has not done enough to stop hate. Now Texas wants to make it even harder!

Social media has not done enough to stop hate. Now Texas wants to make it even harder!

There's a worrying connection between Social Media, the rise in hate crime, and the battle for free speech. The mass killing of Black people in Buffalo by a young white male is yet another example of the toxic mix of freely available guns and the wide spread dissemination of conspiracy theories.


Social media has not done enough to stop hate.

Back Story:  On Saturday, an 18-year old radicalised white man walked into a grocery store wearing body armour and carrying a gun.

He proceeded to open fire, shooting 13 people and killing 10 of them. Most of the victims were Black.

The thing is this: he live-streamed the shooting on Twitch. Which is going to make his "not guilty" plea somewhat challenging to defend!

To their credit, it only took 2 minutes before the live stream was taken down by Twitch. However, in so doing, Twitch may have violated Texas’ new social media laws (I’ll come to that in a minute).

However, the video was out and it quickly appeared on the streaming site Streamable. The New York Times reported that the video was seen 3 million times before Streamable took it down. At the same time, links to the video of the live stream were being shared on both Facebook and Twitter for as long as 9 hours, even though the links violated Facebook’s rules.

A second video that claimed to show the shooter firing in the grocery store went up on Twitter. It took 4 hours for this video to be taken down.

Meanwhile on TikTok, users were posting videos of the killer going into the store and others with instructions on how to find the video online.

It’s deja vue all over again!

In 2019, a radicalised shooter went into a New Zealand mosque and killed 51 people. He live-streamed the killing on Facebook where it was seen for 17 mins before the platform took the live stream down.

A racist conspiracy theory known as the “great replacement” was linked to this killing, which social media firms pledged at the time to eliminate in the wake of that shooting.

In a joint statement in 2019, Meta, Twitter, and Google committed to uphold the Christchurch Call to Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online. They stated that they would be “resolute in our commitment to ensure we are doing all we can to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence”.

Well, it’s turned up again.

Read the full story.

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