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Supreme Court to hear two cases seeking to hold social media companies financially responsible for terror attacks

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear two cases seeking to hold social media companies financially responsible for terrorist attacks. Relatives of those killed in terrorist attacks in France and Turkey sued Google, Twitter and Facebook, accusing the companies of helping terrorists spread their message and radicalize new recruits.

The court will hear cases for this period, which began on Monday, with a decision expected before the court recess for the summer, usually at the end of June. The court did not say when it would hear arguments, but the court has already filled out its argument calendar for October and November.

One of the cases the judge will hear involves Naomi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old US citizen studying in Paris. The Cal State Long Beach student was one of 130 people killed in ISIS attacks in November 2015. The attackers attacked the cafe, outside the French National Stadium and inside the Bataclan theatre. Gonzalez died in an attack at La Belle Equipe Bistro.

His friend, Cal State student Niran Jayasiri, may have been the last to see Gonzalez alive, standing next to him at the cafe. a terrorist fired,

Naomi Gonzalez
Naomi Gonzalez

“At first I thought it was firecrackers because it sounded like firecrackers,” Jaysiri told CBS News in 2015. “When I looked in the direction where the noise was coming, I saw a gunman walking on the sidewalk, just shooting everyone.”

Relatives of Gonzalez sued Google, which owns YouTube, saying the platform allowed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, to post hundreds of videos, trying to incite violence and recruit potential supporters. got help. Relatives of Gonzalez said the company’s computer algorithms recommended the videos to viewers most likely to interest them.

But a judge dismissed the case and a federal appeals court upheld the decision. Under US law – specifically Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – Internet companies are generally exempt from liability for content posted on their networks.

The other case the court agreed to hear involves Jordanian citizen Navras Alasaf. He was killed in the 2017 attack on Istanbul’s Rina nightclub, where an ISIS-linked gunman killed 39 people.

Alasaf’s relatives sued Twitter, Google and Facebook for aiding terrorism, arguing that the platforms helped ISIS grow and did not go far enough in trying to stop terrorist activity on their platforms. The lower court allowed the matter to proceed.

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