The Times-Tribune

Family members of mass shooting victims sue social media outlets

Claim says platforms allow Islamic State group to spread propaganda.

- BY GAL TZIPERMAN LOTAN

ORLANDO SENTINEL ORLANDO, Fla. — Family members of three men killed in the Pulse nightclub attack are suing Twitter, Facebook and Google, claiming that the social media companies allowed the Islamic State terrorist group to post propaganda.

The suit was filed Monday in a federal court in eastern Michigan on behalf of the families of Tevin Crosby, 25, Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40, and Juan Guerrero, 22. Mr. Crosby was a Michigan native, and Mr. Jorge-Reyes’ sister lives there.

The three men were among 49 people killed when Omar Mateen attacked the nightclub June 12.

In the lawsuit, Michigan attorney Keith Altman alleged that the Islamic State is “dependent of Twitter, YouTube (which Google owns) and Facebook to terrorize,” and that the group uses the social media platforms to recruit and spread its message.

The federal Communicat­ion Decency Act protects online publishers from being held responsibl­e for user-generated content, such as comments.

A Facebook spokeswoma­n said the company does not allow users to post content that advocates terrorism or posts from people it considers known terrorists.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment. Earlier this month, the company announced an initiative with YouTube, Facebook and Microsoft to collaborat­e on a database helping the companies track and “curb the spread of terrorist content online.”

Google did not immediatel­y respond.

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