Twitter sued by U.S. widow for giving voice to Islamic State

FLORIDA (TIP): A Florida woman has sued Twitter for allowing the social media platform to be used by Islamic State (ISIS) militant group to spread its messages all over the world.

Twitter is being sued by the widow of an American killed in Jordan who accuses the social media company of giving a voice to Islamic State, adding to the pressure to crack down on online propaganda linked to terrorism.

Tamara Fields, a Florida woman whose husband Lloyd died in the Nov. 9 attack on the police training center in Amman, said Twitter knowingly let the militant Islamist group use its network to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits.

Lawyers specializing in terrorism said Fields faces an uphill battle, though the case could lead to more calls for social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook Inc to take down posts associated with terrorist groups.

In her complaint filed on Wednesday, Jan 13, Fields said San Francisco-based Twitter had until recently given Islamic State, also known as ISIS, an
“unfettered” ability to maintain official Twitter accounts.

“Without Twitter, the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” according to the complaint, which was filed in the federal court in Oakland, California.

Fields wants Twitter to pay her triple damages for violating the federal Anti-Terrorism Act by having provided material support to terrorists.

Her lawyer said he believes it is the first case in which a social media company is accused of violating that law.

“While we believe the lawsuit is without merit, we are deeply saddened to hear of this family’s terrible loss,” Twitter said in a statement about the civil lawsuit. “Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.”


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