MIDTOWN - Citing an alarming rise in social media being used to radicalize people and incite hate, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is implementing new measures to reign in potentially dangerous posts and stories as online threats continue to rise.
"Since October 7th, there's been a 400% increase in threats against Jews, Muslims, and Arabs, and make no mistake, we have not stood idly by," Hochul said.
The governor is mobilizing more state police to protect vulnerable institutions.
She's also focusing on social media, saying they can amplify hate. In a letter to major social media platforms, she's asking them to take more responsibility for their content that contains threats.
"We're creating strategies, for the first time ever, to help identify hate at the source and prevent crimes before they occur," Hochul said.
Another strategy is the increase in the number of threat assessment management teams to determine when mental health or other help and intervention is needed.
Both Jewish and Muslim leaders praised the initiative.
"Since New York is home to the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in the nation, New York must be made a state where peaceful co-existence should be a global role model," Sheikh Musa Drammeh, an Islamic community leader said.
New York State Homeland Security Commissioner Jacqueline Bray says they are putting together ideology-neutral media tool kits for students so they and their parents can better learn how to separate fact from fiction, and recognize potential threats.
"We'll be creating it, but we'll engage robustly with both K-12 educators and academics who do this work," Commissioner Bray said.
"We'll also help parents understand what's available to them if they start seeing signs that their own child is being radicalized online, because I assure you most parents are never aware," Hochul added.
The Governor insists they are not interested in violating anyone's privacy or First Amendment rights. They're only trying to be proactive in protecting New Yorkers.
State officials say they are currently investigating over 50 potential online threats.