Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have been slammed with a series of lawsuits filed by the families of terror victims. In most recent lawsuit was filed in New York against Twitter. The plaintiffs claim that the social media site violated the U.S. Anti-terrorism Act by allowing terrorists to use its platform.
Illustration Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
While Twitter has suspended hundreds of thousands of accounts over the past 18 months due to terrorist activities or promoting terrorism, the lawyers of families of terror victims say that isn’t enough. The terror victims whose families are suing social media giants Twitter and Facebook include a brother and sister murdered in the 2016 Brussels bombing attacks and an American college student slaughtered in the Paris 2015 November terror attacks.
The families, who have filed a series of lawsuits in New York, are demanding that Facebook and Twitter pay damages for failing to stop the terrorists and allowing them to use their platforms to recruit followers and encourage violence. “If you or I tried to send money to Hamas, you wouldn’t get around the block,” said Robert Tolchin, a lawyer representing the families of Alexander and Sascha Pinczowski, who were murdered in the Brussels attack, and Paris terror victim Nohemi Gonzalez. “Banks are required to check before they do any wire transfers. Why is it any different to provide a communications platform to Hamas, to ISIS?”
Earlier this month, a federal lawsuit was filed by the relatives of these three victims. The families claim that Twitter violated the U.S. Anti-terrorism Act by allowing terrorists to use its platform. Another lawsuit that was filed in 2016 blames Facebook for providing material support for Hamas. The plaintiffs of this lawsuit include the families of Taylor Force, a Vanderbilt University student who was murdered in Tel Aviv last March, Yaakov Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen kidnapped and murdered in Israel in 2014, and 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who was murdered in 2014 by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem.
However, Twitter and Facebook are fighting back, saying that they have zero tolerance for terrorism and that they remove terrorist-related content from their platforms.