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Facebook, Twitter, and Google sued for Aiding and Abetting Terrorism in the San Bernardino attack

by Milicent Atieno
Aiding and Abetting Terrorism

Social media bigwigs, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, have found themselves in taken to court yet again for helping the terrorists. The three are being sued by the family members of the victims in the San Bernardino terror attack.

The family members argue that the three companies created a platform that helps the Islamic State spread their propaganda, recruit more followers, and raise money. In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the Los Angeles federal court, the family members allege that the three companies aided and abetted terrorism. The lawsuit goes further to state that the three companies provided material support to the terrorist groups and thus liable for the wrongful deaths of the three of the 14 victims of the December 2, 2015, attack. The attack happened on a health department training event and a holiday party.

The perpetrators of the heinous act, Syed Rizwan Farook Tashfeen Malik; a husband-and-wife, are alleged to have been inspired by the Islamic State group. The authorities say they executed the attack using high-powered rifles. Malik was bold enough to pledge her allegiance to the terrorist group on her Facebook page at around they carried out the attack, which wounded 22 people.

This lawsuit mirrors previous lawsuits that have been targeting social media companies in the United States for terror-related deaths across the globe. The lawyers that have taken up this case are the same who took up the lawsuit for the family members of the 2016 attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

The court dismissed some of the lawsuits, given the federal law absolves online social platform providers the responsibility for content posted therein by users. On its part, Facebook has come forth and offered its apologies and sympathies to the victims and their families. Facebook further added that is has put in place measures to quickly remove content posted by terrorist group whenever it is reported.

In a statement, Facebook said, “There is no place on Facebook for groups that engage in terrorist activity or for content that expresses support for such activity.”

Twitter and Google did not respond immediately to a section of the media that asked the companies’ response to this lawsuit.

The lawsuit itself claims that the social media platforms don’t have sufficient mechanisms in place to block or remove accounts opened by the Islamic State group. The lawsuit further accuses the social media of benefiting from ads placed next to postings by the terrorist groups. Google, in particular, has been charged with sharing revenue with the IS.

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,” the lawsuit reads.

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