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Buffalo Shooter Invited 15 to See Event Online As It Happened

An online chatroom invitation sent before the Buffalo supermarket shooting by gunman Payton Gendron was accepted by 15 users, says a source familiar with the messaging platform Discord’s investigation of the case. When the 15 accepted the invite to that server, they were able to scroll back through months of Gendron’s voluminous writings and racist screed, the Washington Post reports. Discord users who clicked through to the room could view an online video stream broadcasting footage of the Buffalo attack, raising the possibility more people saw the shootings as they happened than was previously known.

Discord said it disabled Gendron’s chatroom after the shooting, which killed 10 people and injured three at a Tops supermarket. “Hate has no place on Discord and we are committed to combating violence and extremism,” a company spokesperson said. The new finding on Gendron’s use of online networks to transmit footage of the killings, and to disseminate propaganda to justify them, illustrates how social media companies have been unable to stop their platforms being exploited to spread terror despite promises to do so. Gendron, 18, was. The invitation, headed “Happening: This is not a drill,” also included a link to an account on the video streaming service Twitch, where Gendron allegedly broadcast video of his attack from a camera mounted on his military-style helmet. Discord has declined to say how many people had access to Gendron’s invitation. Created in 2015, Discord is a chat app that offers added features such as collaboration between groups using voice, video or screen sharing.


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