Kathy Hochul says New York is working with social media companies on 'surveillance efforts' to combat 'hate speech'

"We have launched an effort to be able to counter some of the negativity and reach out to people when we see hate speech being spoken about on online platforms."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In a speech delivered by New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday, she revealed that the state is "collecting data" from social media "surveillance efforts" in order to combat "hate speech."

"We’re very focused on the data we’re collecting from surveillance efforts, what’s being said on social media platforms, and we have launched an effort to be able to counter some of the negativity and reach out to people when we see hate speech being spoken about on online platforms," said Hochul.

"Our social media analysis unit has ramped up its monitoring of sites to catch incitement of violence, direct threats to others, and all this is in response to our desire, our strong commitment, to ensure that not only do New Yorkers be safe, but they also feel safe."

Hochul said that "personal security is about everything for them."

"As I said, no one walking down the street or in the subway should feel they have to hide any indications of what their religious beliefs are," she said.

"We expect to see people celebrating their lives, walking about freely, and that is no longer the case because people are living in fear. They have a right to do whatever they want in the state of New York."

Following the October 7 attack launched by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas against Israel, resulting in the deaths of over 1,300 Israelis and over 200 people being taken hostage, the NYPD reported a 214 percent increase in antisemitic incidents in the city in October 2023 compared to October 2022.

The comments came as part of a speech on the deployment of additional staff to the joint terrorism task force. "Governor Hochul has directed an additional $2.5 million to the New York State Police to deploy ten additional investigators in New York City, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester, ensuring the State Police has a presence in all JTTF investigative groups and areas," a press release stated.

According to a January WNBF report, the New York State Police have bought programs over the last decade allowing them to go through social media information, including "Dataminr" and "ShadowDragon."

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