San Bernardino attack: Victims’ families sue Facebook, Google, Twitter

:: Blaming the tech giants for being “instrumental to the rise of ISIS (Islamic State),” the families of 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack victims have filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Google and Twitter.

According to media reports on Monday, the family members of three victims who were killed along with 11 others in the terrorist attack on a health facility, alleged that the three tech companies “knowingly and recklessly provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds, and attracting new recruits”.

“This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out or cause to be carried out, numerous terrorist attacks, including December 2, 2015, attack in San Bernadino,” they said in the 32-page lawsuit filed with the US District Court in Los Angeles last week.

“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 claim says.

“Concerning Twitter, for example, the families point out the flood of ISIS-related accounts on the platform in recent years,” Re/Code reported.

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik began shooting at Farook’s co-workers in San Bernardino in December 2015, killing 14 people and wounding 22 others.

“About Facebook, they contend that the San Bernardino shooters, including Tashfeen, had declared their allegiance to ISIS in a previous Facebook post. As for Google, they allege that it essentially helps fund ISIS through advertisements that run before YouTube videos,” the report added.

There three companies were yet to comment on this.

There has already been a huge court battle after the shooting where the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took Apple to court, demanding a security backdoor that would allow them to unlock the iPhone of one of the killers.

This is not the only incident where families of terror victims have taken tech giants to court.

Families of three victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting that left 50 dead and 53 wounded in June last year have sued tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter for allegedly providing “material support” to the Islamic State terrorist group and helping radicalise shooter Omar Mateen.

According to a reports, the lawsuit was filed in federal court in the eastern district of Michigan on behalf of the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero, stating that the three web platforms “provided the terrorist group IS with accounts they use to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds and attract new recruits.”

“Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of IS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” Fox News cited the lawsuit as saying.

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