Loved Ones Sue Social Media Companies Over Buffalo Massacre

It has been almost one year since the deadly massacre at Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York.

via: ABC News

Loved ones of those killed in the 2022 Buffalo grocery store mass shooting filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against a number of social media companies alleging they facilitated the teenage killer’s white supremacist radicalization by allowing racist propaganda to fester on their platforms.

The lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Buffalo also names as defendants a gun dealer and body armor company, as well as the parents of the confessed killer, Payton Gendron.

“Gendron was motivated to commit his heinous crime by racist, anti-Semitic, and white supremacist propaganda fed to him by the social media companies whose products he used,” the lawsuit argues, adding that Gendron was not raised by a racist family, did not live in a radically polarized community and had no personal history of negative interactions with Black people.

The legal action comes just two days before Buffalo residents commemorate the one-year mark since the May 14, 2022, shooting rampage at a Tops store on the city’s predominantly Black east side.

The lawsuit was filed by Buffalo attorney John Elmore on behalf of the loved ones of Heyward Patterson, Katherine “Kat” Massey and Andre Mackniel, three of the 10 Black people killed in the mass shooting. The suit is supported by the Social Media Victims Law Center, an organization that works to hold social media companies legally accountable for the alleged harm it is claimed they inflict on vulnerable users.

“I’m hoping that something will come out of it. Everyday or every few days, all you hear about is a mass shooting,” Massey’s sister, Barbara Massey Mapps, told ABC News of the lawsuit. “You’ve got to start somewhere, in order for them to get the message. These big companies only know one thing, money. So, you’ve got to hurt them. How many people do you want to see dead?”

Among the defendants named in the lawsuit are Meta, the parent company of Facebook; the instant messaging app Snapchat; Discord, Reddit; Google, which owns YouTube; and Amazon, which owns Twitch, the site Gendron used to livestream the killing rampage.

The dark website 4chan is also named as a defendant, as well as the Vintage Firearms company and the RMA Armament company.

Sending continued prayers to the families of the victims and the entire community.

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