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Gov. Kathy Hochul outlines steps New York will take to combat threats of violence and radicalization

NEW YORK — With officials concerned about New York facing looming threats of violence, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday morning announced new steps she’ll be taking to beef up security and deal with online threats and radicalization.

The governor outlined several initiatives to stop hate speech online from becoming hate crimes in the state.

Included in the plan is $3 million to ensure every college campus has a threat assessment and management team on site to identify threats, targeted ads offering help for parents to identify if their child is involved in hate speech online, and media literacy tools for all public school students to make them smarter about identifying misinformation online.

The announcement came after CBS News obtained a new threat assessment which points to “an increasing terror threat to New York state.”

The intelligence center warns that the spread of antisemitic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric on social media is fueling an increase in hate crimes targeting Jews, Muslims and Arabs.

READ MOREEscalating violence in Gaza increasing chatter of possible terror attack in New York, intelligence report says

The report says, “The expansion of Israeli operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and increase in civilian casualties raises the likelihood that violent extremist threat actors will seek to conduct attacks against targets in the West, with New York state being a focus. Terrorist messaging has placed focus on attacking ‘soft targets’ such as protests, group gatherings, and other public events.”

READ MOREManhattan DA Alvin Bragg, New York lawmakers introduce Hate Crime Modernization Act to close loopholes

Hochul spoke Tuesday about how the online threat assessment teams will work.

“They’re not looking at your Instagram sunset posts or your tweets about your favorite football team, and they’re not here to penalize anyone for their political views. They have a simple goal, to find out what’s driving hateful behavior and intervene early before harm is done,” the governor said.

She also said she reached out to social media companies to criticize them for not better monitoring hate online.

Hochul said hate crimes against Jews, Muslims and Arabs have increased by more than 400% since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

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