The father of Nohemi Gonzalez — the only American killed during the 2015 Paris attacks — will sue social media websites Facebook, Twitter, and Google for allegedly giving terror groups like ISIS, or ISIL, a platform for spreading hate and violence.
Nohemi Gonzalez was a student at Cal State Long Beach who was killed in Paris among 130 other people last year.
Reynaldo Gonzalez, Nohemi’s father, claim that such companies grant the terror group “material support” as the basis for suing Facebook and Google’s YouTube.
The Islamic State, and other extremist groups, frequent popular Internet services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube to spread propaganda, attract new recruits, celebrate successful attacks, and gruesomely broadcast public executions.
Reynaldo Gonzales and his legal team filed the lawsuit Tuesday in San Francisco to a federal court. According to reports, Gonzales is not the first plaintiff to attempt to sue social media services like Facebook and Google’s YouTube under the notion that the internet services enable the extremists groups far too much.
Facebook gave an official rebuttal on being sued by Gonzalez via email.
“There is no place for terrorists or content that promotes or supports terrorism on Facebook, and we work aggressively to remove such content as soon as we become aware of it. Anyone can report terrorist accounts or content to us, and our global team responds to these reports quickly around the clock. If we see evidence of a threat of imminent harm or a terror attack, we reach out to law enforcement.”
Twitter, another social media platform which Gonzalez is suing, said it “strongly condemns the ongoing acts of violence for which ISIS claims credit,” also via email.
“Our sympathies go out to those impacted by these acts of terror We have partnered with others in industry, NGOs and governments to find better ways to combat the online manifestations of the larger societal problem at the core of violent extremism. As we stated earlier this year, violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.”
Google has yet to comment on being sued by Gonzalez specifically, however, in an emailed statement, they claimed that their video sharing service, YouTube, takes “swift action against terrorist content.”
“We have clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence and quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users. We also terminate accounts run by terrorist organizations or those that repeatedly violate our policies.”
Gonzalez’s fight against Google, Facebook, and Twitter are unprecedented and may actually hold merit. In January, Twitter was sued by the widow of Lloyd Carl Fields Jr., Tamara Fields.
Mrs. Fields’ late husband, a government contractor, died as a result of an attack on a Jordanian police training center. She accused Twitter of knowingly allowing 125,000 ISIS accounts thrive on its website. A number which Twitter has since claimed to expunge over the past six months since the November 9th attack.
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More recently, the suspected killer of a French police commander and his wife broadcasted the act via Facebook’s “Live” feature on a 13-minute stream.
What do you think? Should Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s YouTube really be held accountable for extremists groups like ISIS using their services as a platform for their propaganda?
[Photo by Jose Gonzalez/Getty Images]