- Dean Smith
Three Social Powerhouses Engulfed in Legal Battle with Families of Three Orlando Shooting Victims
The families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero, who were all killed during the Orlando Pulse gay nightclub massacre in June 2016, have filed suit against Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc with accusations of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act and providing “material support” to the gunman, 20-year-old Omar Mateen who pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Mateen was responsible for murdering 49 people and injuring 53 others in what is considered to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
According to Insurance Journal, the lawsuit was filed on December 21st, 2016 in Detroit, MI federal court, claiming that Twitter, Google’s YouTube, and Facebook “provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts they use to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds and attract new recruits.”
The suit also alleges that the “material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enable it to carry out or cause to be carried out, numerous terrorist attacks,” and that the companies “create unique content by combining ISIS postings with advertisements to target the viewer. It also says they share revenue with ISIS for its content and profit from ISIS postings through advertising revenue.”
Twitter declined comment, Google reps were unable to be reached, but according to Insurance Journal, Facebook noted that, “there is no place on its service for groups that engage in or support terrorism, and that it takes swift action to remove that content when it is reported.”
Not only does this serve as testament to the digital footprint we all leave behind, but also the way we can use such content in a proactive manner. We will be watching this one closely.