Families of three victims of the June 2016 shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, have sued Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube for allegedly providing “material support” to the Islamic State group that was behind the carnage, IANS reported. The lawsuit claimed that the web platforms had provided the terror outfit with accounts that they used to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds and attract new recruits.
“Without defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google [YouTube], the explosive growth of the Islamic State over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” said the suit filed on behalf of the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero, who died in the shooting.
Investigations had revealed that 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen was not a member of the terror group but was inspired by it by what he saw on the internet. The shooting at the gay club in Orlando on June 12 left 50 dead and 53 injured. The terror group had claimed responsibility for the incident through its news agency Amaq, saying the attack was carried out by an “Islamic State fighter”. Mateen was killed by the police in a gunbattle inside the club.
The lawsuit also claimed that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube create unique content by combining the Islamic State’s content with advertisements. “Defendants share revenue for its content and profit from Islamic State postings through advertising revenue,” the lawsuit read, according to Fox News.
Keith Altman, the prosecution lawyer, told the TV channel, “Mateen was radicalised by the Islamic State using the defendants’ tools.” However, according to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are not liable for what their users post on their sites.