US Woman Sues Twitter For Allowing ISIS Accounts on its Platform
A woman in the US has sued Twitter for allowing official ISIS accounts to run on its platform, sparking off yet another debate about the exchange of content on social media.
This lawsuit follows an attack by an ISIS member on November 9th when he shot down five people to death in Jordan. Two of them happened to be Americans. The husband of the plaintiff was one of the two American victims. The lawsuit demands unspecified damages from Twitter.
The fact that ISIS is immensely tech-savvy and uses various social media platforms to assert its presence has been a topic of debate for a while now. The extremist group has a team of social media experts to take care of the content it puts up on different networking websites. But all of these networking portals defend themselves by stating that they are simply the channels of content-exchange, with no participation in the creation of this content whatsoever.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It means that these websites are exempt from laws that would otherwise make them responsible for the content that users put up on their platform.
However, the lawsuit claims, “for years, Twitter has knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use its social network 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 numerous terrorist attacks.”
Twitter defended itself in an official statement where it claimed, “While we believe the lawsuit is without merit, we are deeply saddened to hear of this family’s terrible loss. Like people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups and their ripple effects on the Internet. Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.”