Home » Two Supreme Court cases could change the way Americans use social media

Two Supreme Court cases could change the way Americans use social media

by The Grio

This week, the Supreme Court listened to hours of oral arguments in two landmark cases – Reynaldo Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter  v. Taamneh – where several families are suing the social media giants for allegedly aiding and abetting ISIS in three deadly terrorist attacks that took place in the U.S. and abroad and resulted in the deaths of their relatives. 

If the Supreme Court finds that Google or Twitter played a role in the deadly attacks, this could mean harsher regulations for social media companies and their users. 

What are the key facts of both cases?

Nohemi Gonzalez, Nawras Alassaf, Sierra Clayborn, Tin Nguyen and Nicholas Thalasinos lost their lives in separate terrorist attacks that took place in Paris (2015), San Bernardino (2015) and Istanbul (2016) at the hands of ISIS. 

Their families filed suits against Google, Twitter and Facebook in the U.S. Central District of California citing that the social media companies hosted ISIS content and provided algorithmic recommendations that boosted the terrorist organization’s fundraising, propaganda, planning and recruiting tactics to carry out the attacks. 

What is the law in question? 

The families of the five victims sued the three social media companies under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act. The act allows U.S. citizens to receive damages if there is a finding that a company aided and abetted “by knowingly providing substantial assistance” to a terrorist organization that carried out a harmful attack. 

In this case, the families believe all three social media giants refused to monitor their platforms properly and allowed ISIS to post videos and other content to spread their message, recruit and plan the deadly attacks. The plaintiffs believe the social media companies should be held liable for directly and indirectly supporting ISIS.

On the contrary, attorneys for the social media companies argue that the…

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