Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday that the state is “very focused” on collecting data from social media platforms as part of an effort to counter online “negativity” and “hate speech” after a rise in antisemitic attacks.
Following a meeting with the state’s Jewish leaders, local law enforcement and federal authorities, Hochul spoke to the media to discuss the state’s efforts to combat hate crimes. (RELATED: Kathy Hochul Says ‘Person Of Interest’ In Custody After Threats To University Jewish Center)
“It’s painful to me as the governor of this great state — that has been known for its diversity, and how we celebrate different cultures, different religions, different viewpoints — it’s painful to see the cruelty with which New Yorkers are treating each other. Everywhere from college campuses, to our streets, to schools, to playgrounds; even as they’re entering their houses of worship,” Hochul said, noting that she “immediately deployed the State Police to protect our synagogues and yeshivas and mosques and any other place that could be susceptible to hate crimes or violence.”
“I also announced a significant increase in funding for our efforts: $75 million overall, $50 million for local law enforcement to beef up their efforts as well as $25 million in security grants,” she added.
Since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, antisemitic hate incidents have increased by nearly 331 percent in New York City, according to data from the New York City Police Department (NYPD). (RELATED: Gov. Kathy Hochul Says She Needed To Visit Israel To ‘Comfort A Nation’)
The New York governor went on to detail the state’s plan “to catch incitement to violence” and “direct threats to others” by monitoring social media activity.
“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,” Hochul said, insisting that no New Yorker “should feel they have to hide any indications of what their religious beliefs are.”
Hochul, whose state is home to some 2.2 million Jews out of a global population of around 16 million, has been a strong supporter of Israel’s war against the Hamas terror group. On Oct. 30, she visited students at Cornell University after the school’s Jewish Center received a mass shooting threat.