The United States Supreme Court in Washington on May 7, 2019.Foto: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times
As a result of a civil lawsuit brought by relatives of a victim of the attack by the Islamist terrorist organization Islamic State (IS), there was a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and the YouTube parent company Google. Now the US Supreme Court has announced its decision.
The US Supreme Court has dismissed the lawsuit against online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook against civil liability for the dissemination of Islamist messages. The Supreme Court in Washington ruled on Thursday that the networks cannot be sued for aiding and abetting a terrorist attack based on such messages.
The background is a civil lawsuit by relatives of a victim of the attack by the Islamist terrorist organization Islamic State (IS) on the Istanbul nightclub “Reina” on New Year’s Eve 2017, which left 39 dead. Relatives argued that for years Twitter, Facebook and YouTube parent Google had allowed IS to use the platforms to spread propaganda, recruit fighters and raise funds, including using recommendation algorithms.
The companies would even have made money through advertising in the environment of such messages. Ultimately, the platforms would have provided aid to the “Reina” attack.
The Supreme Court rejected this argument on Thursday. The constitutional judges said that the platforms had not done enough to remove users and content with links to IS. However, this cannot be interpreted as aiding and abetting a terrorist attack – in this case the attack on the “Reina” nightclub.
The plaintiffs have not shown that the online platforms intentionally provided “significant assistance” to the “Reina” attack – much less that the companies had provided support to IS so “systematically” that they blamed every attack by the militia could be prosecuted under civil law. The decision of the constitutional judges was unanimous. (afp)