New York AG launching investigation into Twitch, 4chan, and Discord over Buffalo shooting
(Wed, 18 May 2022) Twitch, Discord, 4chan, and 8chan all played a role in the white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo this weekend, according to the shooter
New York Attorney General Letitia James wants to know exactly what role each one played.
On Wednesday, James announced in a tweet that she was launching an investigation into those four platforms, as well as any other online space that was used by the shooter to carry out his attack
that left 10 people dead and 3 more injured.
Tweet may have been deleted
"My office is launching investigations into the social media companies that the Buffalo shooter used to plan, promote, and stream his terror attack," tweeted James. "We are investigating Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord, among others, all platforms that the shooter used
to amplify this attack."
The gunman released a 180-page document sharing his belief in a right wing, white supremacist conspiracy theory known as The Great Replacement. Also included were details about how he planned and
carried out his attack. According to the shooter, he was radicalized on 4chan in 2020. That website has previously been used by other white supremacist mass shooters in order to disseminate their
manifestos prior to their attacks. The shooter in Buffalo says he also used 8chan to share what he was plotting.
Along with those two fringe websites, the shooter also used two popular mainstream services: the livestreaming platform Twitch, and Discord, a community chat service. Logs released from the
shooter's private Discord channel show that he had used the platform as a diary, sharing thoughts that would turn into fatal reality just this past weekend. Some of his Discord messages were
originally posted months ago.
"Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families," said a Discord spokesperson in a statement provided to Mashable. "Hate has no place on Discord and we are committed to combating
violence and extremism."
"What we know at this time is that a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log," the Discord spokesperson continued. "Approximately 30 minutes
prior to the attack, however, a small group of people were invited to and joined the server. Before that, our records indicate no other people saw the diary chat log in this private server."
As for Twitch, the shooter used the streaming service to broadcast his act on video live across the internet. The stream lasted around 10 minutes.
Tweet may have been deleted
"We are continuing to do everything we can to assist law enforcement and the investigation remains ongoing." said Discord. "We will cooperate with the New York Attorney General's investigation."
Mashable has reached out to Twitch as well and will update this piece when we hear back.
"This terror attack again revealed the depths and dangers of these platforms that spread and promote hate without consequence," James wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. "We are doing everything in our power to stop this dangerous behavior now and ensure it
never happens again."
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From lake science to bones to snails, these TikTok accounts are STEM treasure troves
(Wed, 18 May 2022)
Since its inception, TikTok has quickly become an arbiter of culture, memes, and even political organizing, all while
curating eerily specific For Your Pages for its users full of dancing videos, funny filters, and viral songs. But one of its most promising uses is connecting more people to fun, educational
accounts, spanning the range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
STEM creators have gathered tons of engagement on their informational videos in various fields of science, math, and even public health, as physicians took to the platform to dispel misconceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational accounts like these combine the easily digestible
format of the short form video app with hard science, making often over-the-head STEM topics easily digestible for millions of viewers.
SEE ALSO: Want to know more about LGBTQ history?
Follow these accounts.
The STEM side of TikTok offers something for just about everyone — no science interest is too niche. Scroll on for a short list of STEM accounts sharing content across a wide range of expertise
and give a few of them a follow to add some fun, educational videos to your FYP.
Geo Rutherford is a printmaker, fiber and book artist, and resident teacher of lake science for more than one million TikTok users. Rutherford's account is a neat combination of beautiful,
environment-inspired art and science posts about hydrology,
geology, and underwater exploration. She's known for her "spooky
lake month" series, in which she spends all of October sharing eerie or unusual facts about bodies of water around the world, like the parts of the Amazon River that boil or the shipwrecks at the bottom of the Black Sea. Go to her page for more cool
hydrology videos, explanations of strange Great Lakes geology,
and explainers on ancient lakes that have
long dried out.
Rutherford makes it clear there's a lot more to lakes and rivers than you might think Credit: TikTok / @Geodesaurus
Did you know the Great Lakes have really crazy ice phenomena? Credit: TikTok /
Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, is credited as the first TikToker in space, and she's on a mission to educate the
masses on what it's like to orbit around in space. Cristoforetti's account includes videos on
how astronauts use the bathroom, what
kind of food you can bring on space stations, and how her fellow space explorers
build up their muscles while in zero gravity. Her TikTok page's creation coincided with her journey back into space, which began on April 27 — she
posted her first TikTok from the International Space Station on May 5. Follow her to keep up with her adventures in space.
Cristoforetti is taking her followers with her to the final frontier. Credit: TikTok /
Floating through space? That'd make a good TikTok. Credit: TikTok / @AstroSamantha
Annelise Baer, TikTok's "friendly neighborhood archaeologist," is an archaeologist and producer with Project Nivica Archaeology, a research initiative on the prehistoric cultures of Nivica in
southern Albania. Baer has a master's degree in Archaeology for Screen Media, which she has used to produce educational archaeological content for various history and archaeology-themed series.
On her TikTok page, Baer dives into archaeological history,
highlights new discoveries, and dispels common misconceptions about history and pseudoscience, as well as how archaeology is conducted — it's an
inside look into the field.
Archaeological discoveries are happening all the time, and Baer makes sure her followers stay informed. Credit: TikTok / @AnneliseTheArchaeologist
Look no further for cool historical artifacts. Credit: TikTok /
Darrion Nguyen is probably one of the most recognizable STEM accounts on TikTok because of his frequently viral (pun not intended) comedy videos about biochemistry, medical research, and other
human sciences. A student at the University of Texas, Nguyen's posts often riff on current trends and memes, adding genuine science lessons to the app's current crazes. Videos include funny takes
on the immune system, protein synthesis, and other concepts from your college biology courses you may
have forgot (or never even learned). His page is probably a relatable stop for any pre-med students or lab technicians, bonding over the struggles of doing hard research and combating misinformation.
Phillip Cook is a high school chemistry teacher at the private Culver Academy and a beloved TikTok educator, whose accessible teaching has even made it
onto the Kelly Clarkson Show. Cook's account shares simplescience experiments with things you can find at home, everyday chemistry
explainers like how hair dye works, and how chemistry can be used to
create sustainable solutions like how biodiesel fuel can be made from cooking
oil. Follow his account for chemistry videos accessible for all ages.
Kyne Santos is a drag queen and longtime YouTube creator with an impressive brain for all things math. Since 2020, the TikTok star has
utilized her bachelor's degree in mathematics to make short-form videos, sharing straightforward explanations of math and physics concepts to 1.3 million followers. Santos' videos aren't just
about the formulas or concepts you learned in your math courses, though. Instead, the videos relate core math principles to our everyday life, like how the Farenheit temperature scale works, how to optimize making change by adding new coins to U.S. currency, and how
game theory relates to the modern workplace. Follow Santos'
account for a daily dose of math that's helpful, interesting, and might break your brain — but in a fun way!
Weekly math riddles to keep your brain nimble. Credit: TikTok/ @OnlineKyne
Santos adds glamour to a notoriously... misunderstood subject. Credit: TikTok/
With more than 9 million followers, the Institute of Human Anatomy is TikTok's go-to spot for quick lessons on human anatomy and
physiology. Off the internet, the Institute is a Utah-based private human cadaver lab (received through body donor programs) that provides anatomical education for health professionals. The
TikTok account is run by the organization staff, including marketing director and instructor Justin Cottle. In addition to the TikTok account, you can find science explainers by institute
co-founder Jonathan Bennion on the Institute's Instagram page, or head to its YouTube channel. A gentle warning here that this account doesn't shy away from showing real body parts, genitalia, organs, you
Yes, the Encyclopedia Britannica does have a TikTok account and its sharing all things science with more than 200,000 followers — it's basically
the 2022 version of the famed general knowledge book first published in 1768. The page is great for all ages, posting fun songs and trends turned into quick science lessons, as well
as deep dives into facets of biology, physics, and
just about anything else you can think of.
Clever songs make simple natural history lessons easy to learn and share. Credit: TikTok
The page and its commenters tackle common questions and science principles. Credit:
TikTok / @EncyclopaediaBritannica
New York City's American Museum of Natural History also has its own TikTok page engaging more than 250,000 followers with content about its collection,
the natural sciences, and museum curation. Scrolling through its feed, you'll find videos on ancient creatures like the Megalodon, fun facts about present-day animals, and highlights from unknown
facets of science, like paleoceanography. The page also
features lessons by museum curators and resources for educators and further learning.
The Natural History Museum TikTok page highlights experts and curators. Credit: TikTok /
Followers also get a glimpse into the museum's collection. Credit: TikTok /
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
A personal favorite and beloved TikTok creator, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History has gone viral time and time again for its Mollusk Monday weekly series, in which resident mollusk expert Tim Pearce
shares jokes and occasional fun facts all about snails and their close relatives. The account isn't just for snail fans, however, as the museum posts a plethora of content within the study of
natural history, all of which is presented by museum experts in fields like herpetology, geology, and paleontology.
Famous science educators Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Neil DeGrasse Tyson
have easily made the transition from our television screens onto the TikTok app. Follow their pages for more of their classic science content we grew up with.
Classic Bill. Credit: TikTok / @BillNye
Neil Degrasse Tyson is in on the trends. Credit: TikTok/ @NeillDegrasseTyson
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