Wrongful death lawsuit against Meta, Google alleges social media radicalized Buffalo Tops shooter

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The white gunman who slaughtered 10 Black people in a racist attack at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in 2022 was radicalized on the internet, attorneys representing the victims’ families said Wednesday while announcing a far-reaching wrongful death lawsuit against social media companies, weapon manufacturers and gun retailers.

“These social media companies, they knew or should have known that these algorithms will lead people to act in racist, violent manners,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said during a news conference.

“The manufacturers of these body armors should have known this type of body armor leads to bloody massacres. And the gun sellers knew or should have known that these guns would lead to gut-wrenching murder. But yet, they all looked the other way,” he continued.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Erie County in the state’s supreme court and names about a dozen defendants including Meta, Facebook and Instagram; Alphabet, Google and YouTube; Discord and 4Chan. Other companies named as defendants include RMA Armament, a body-armor manufacturer, and Vintage Firearms, LLC, a gun retailer.