Reynaldo Gonzalez, father of Paris terror attack victim, Nohemi, has sued Twitter, Facebook and Google, insisting that all three provided ISIS and other terrorists with material support by allowing them to use their services to recruit members and to raise money for terrorist acts. Over the last two year, maybe longer, as Facebook and Twitter would ban pages they said were bigoted, those sites would point to terror sites and demand they be removed also, but in most cases that I am aware of, they were not. It’s Gonzalez’s contention that without those three groups, ISIS could never have gotten so big or influential.
The terror attacks in Paris saw 130 people killed and many more wounded as the terrorists shot people then set off their suicide vests.
“Without defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google [YouTube], the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible.”
“This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out numerous terrorist attacks,” it continued, “including the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris where more than 125 were killed, including Nohemi Gonzalez.”
All three companies deny the charges and Twitter and Facebook point to their unenforced policies of deleting extremist materials.
Gonzalez’s daughter was in Paris with 17 classmates for one semester abroad, when she was killed during the terrorist attack.
Under current U.S. law, internet companies are commonly exempt from liability for the material users post on their platforms. Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act provides a “safe harbor” for organizations like Twitter and Facebook. It states, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
But that protection may not safeguard the companies from Gonzalez’s lawsuit. Ari Kresch, an attorney with 1-800-LAW-FIRM who is part of the Gonzalez legal apparatus, said the lawsuit targets the social media networks not for what they published but for what they enabled.
“This complaint is not about what ISIS’s messages say,” he wrote in an email to CBS. “It is about Google, Twitter, and Facebook allowing ISIS to use their social media networks for recruitment and operations.”
Additionally, the Gonzalez lawsuit also claims YouTube, which is owned by Google, shared revenue with the Islamic State from the ads that ran with the terror group’s videos.
keep an eye on this lawsuit. It could change all three sites for the better if they are convicted.