Discord, the online platform used by the accused Buffalo Shooter, hires the first lobbyists

(Bloomberg) – Discord Inc. – the online chat platform that has come under scrutiny as the place where the Buffalo, New York, mass shooting suspect allegedly documented his plans on a server private – hired its first federal lobbyists.

The company chose the bipartisan group Monument Advocacy, which spent a total of more than $10 million last year to lobby dozens of companies, including tech giants Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. .

“Discord wants to make sure policymakers in Washington, DC understand how the service works, our efforts to keep users safe, and our company’s plans for the future,” according to a company statement.

The hiring disclosure came weeks after the man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store reportedly posted his plans on a private Discord server for months, inviting others to see him around half a hour before acting.

Earlier: Buffalo massacre suspect mapped plans on Discord app for months

The tragedy sparked investigations by attorneys general in New York and New Jersey into whether Discord failed to properly enforce policies on expressions of extremism and hateful behavior.

Discord hosts over 150 million monthly users. The platform originally became popular among gamers, but the user base has diversified and grown in popularity since its launch in 2015.

Monument Advocacy did not respond to a request for comment. The five lobbyists assigned to Discord include Jeff Gary, who previously worked for Microsoft as a contract policy analyst.

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