The family of the California student killed in a series of coordinated attacks in Paris last year is suing social media giants Google, Facebook and Twitter for allegedly aiding ISIS by allowing it to recruit and plot attacks on their sites.
The lawsuit, filed in a San Francisco federal court on behalf of 23-year old Nohemi Gonzalez, seeks compensation for what plaintiffs say is a violation of the US. Anti-Terrorist Act. “For years, defendants have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits,” reads the lawsuit.
A similar lawsuit, was filed in January against Twitter, alleging the site contributed to the death of Lloyd “Carl” Fields Jr., in a Nov. 9 shooting in Amman, Jordan.
The lawsuit comes as the three tech giants are embroiled in a battle with European Union officials over flagging and moderating terrorist activity on their platforms, and quickly taking down hateful content.
Facebook released a statement this week saying “terrorists and acts of terrorism have no place on Facebook.” Twitter, meanwhile, says it has suspended over 125,000 accounts for promoting terrorist acts since 2015 — although the company, whose Terms of Service specifically outlaw using its platform to issue threats of violence or engage in “hateful conduct,” is known for its inconsistent banning practices.
The lawsuit comes a day after a separate terrorist attack in Paris, in which a “lone” attacker killed a French police officer at his home outside the capital before claiming allegiance to ISIS in a live broadcast posted on social media from the scene of the crime. He encouraged others to take up arms and follow his example.
Gonzalez, 23, was the only American victim in the series of coordinated attacks that took the lives of 130 people and injured 350 in Paris.