Online giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are facing a civil lawsuit file by the families of three Orlando shooting victims for their alleged role in radicalizing shooter Omar Mateen.
( YouTube/Rappler )
Facebook, Twitter and Google, the triumvirate of social media, are facing a federal civil suit initiated by the families of the Orlando shooting victims. Relatives alleged that the three online companies provided “material support” to the Islamic State.
In a lawsuit that was filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, kins of Orlando shooting victims Juan Ramon Guerrero, Tevin Crosby and Javier Jorge-Reyes maintained that the three internet giants helped the ISIS group by providing accounts which were later used to get recruits, as a medium for extremist propaganda as well as in raising funds, reports Fox News. It was argued that access and use of these accounts helped in the transformation of the shooter, Omar Mateen, in becoming a radical.
It was learned that the 29-year-old Omar Mateen previously pledged allegiance to the terrorist group ISIS before the shooting incident. He open fired at the party goers inside the Pulse nightclub last June, claiming the lives of 49 and wounding another 53 guests before he was later taken down by a SWAT team.
This is not the first time that popular internet services companies have been targeted by similar lawsuits. Previously, the family of an American college student killed in the Paris terrorist attacks likewise sued Facebook, Twitter and Google, alleging that the three internet companies made it too easy for the IS to operate its online campaign. The same lawyer representing in the Paris attacks lawsuit, Keith Altman, will also represent the families of the three Orlando shooting victims.
Facebook already released a statement stating that it is part of its community standards to ban groups that are engaged in terrorist activity. At the moment, Twitter and Google are yet to give their comments.
The lawsuit is said to test the common interpretation of the Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which, in its simplest terms, state that online sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google, are not liable for whatever their users post online. However, Altman plans a new approach by arguing that the site themselves are part in creating new content as they pair which advertising goes with the postings. It was further argued that the companies actually helped finance ISIS’ activities via the usual advertising revenue sharing scheme.
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