Date
27 July 2017
Social media firms knowingly allow members of militant groups to use their online platforms, and are even profiting from such activities, a US lawsuit charges. Photo: Bloomberg
Social media firms knowingly allow members of militant groups to use their online platforms, and are even profiting from such activities, a US lawsuit charges. Photo: Bloomberg

Paris attack victim’s family sues social media firms

The family of an American student killed in the Paris terror attacks last November has sued Twitter, Google and Facebook, alleging that their social media platforms are providing “material support” to jihadist groups such as Islamic State.

Nohemi Gonzalez’s family filed the lawsuit in San Francisco, asking a federal court to rule that the companies are violating the US Anti-Terrorism Act, Reuters reported.

“For years, defendants have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” the lawsuit charged.

It alleged that the firms’ “material support” has enabled Islamic State to recruit, and to fund and carry out numerous terror attacks, including the Paris carnage last November that killed 130 people, including Gonzalez.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages to be determined by the court. 

Google declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in a statement that it has “clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence” and that it quickly removes any videos that violate the policies.

“We also terminate accounts run by terrorist organizations or those that repeatedly violate our policies,” it said.

Facebook also said that it works “aggressively to remove such content as soon as we become aware of it” and it contacts law enforcement when it sees evidence of a threat.

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CG/RC

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