The families of five Palestinian bombing victims are suing Facebook for $1 billion for allowing its platform to be used by extremist militants.
Shurat HaDin, a legal advocacy organization in Israel, filed the suit in a New York court over the weekend and is accusing Facebook of violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992, reports Reuters. The petitioners contend that by allowing their services to be used by evildoers, Facebook is assisting in the “recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing” of terrorists and their organizations. Militant groups, they assert, are able to promulgate fear, gather resources and coordinate attacks through the communicative capabilities of the social media network.
The plaintiffs are relatives of a visiting U.S. citizen and four Israeli-U.S. dual nationals. The victims were killed from 2014 and 2016 in various attacks carried out across Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, considers the lawsuit a desperate attempt by Israel to blackmail Facebook and turn the social media company against Palestinians. “The real test for the owners of Facebook is to reject this (Israeli) pressure,” Abu Zuhri said.
There is a concurrent lawsuit already in the works against Facebook and other big name tech conglomerates like Twitter and Google for equivalent reasoning. Reynaldo Gonzalez, a father of the lone US victim of the Paris attacks, is suing the companies for allegedly helping ISIS carry out the bombings.
This has become a consistent theme, since in another lawsuit back in January, Twitter was accused of equipping ISIS with communication technology by a grieving widow who’s husband was killed in a raid.
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