The livestream of the accused Buffalo shooter’s deadly May 14, 2022, attack at a Buffalo supermarket was available briefly via Twitch, but the footage spread quickly across online platforms, and remains online for public consumption.
Five full days after the shooting rampage, the ADL Center on Extremism (COE) was able to find the footage on platforms as diverse as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Telegram, Bitchute and Gab. Framing and characterization of the videos varied widely between platforms and users, and although many posters did not use the footage to explicitly promote or applaud extremist beliefs, the proliferation of this extremist violent content creates a dangerous online environment, normalizes violence, and has the potential to inspire future violence. Sharing this violent footage debases the memory of the victims.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube
The most common iteration of footage is video directly uploaded to the platform itself. These videos and video excerpts, often accompanied by some form of commentary from the poster, were found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Telegram. In some cases, the post includes language critical of the shooter, but this does little to mitigate the potential damage caused by the video itself and creates opportunity for others to use the content for nefarious purposes.