Twitter has been sued for giving a voice to Islamic State

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  • 4 years ago
  • Posted: January 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Twitter has been sued for giving Islamic States a voice which is misused by some groups. Many people practice their freedom of speech to preach propaganda behind trending tags on Twitter. Social media has massive influence across the world which may demerit the fight against terrorism because militia groups like ISIS are using the platforms to sensitize users.

One month ago, President Obama urged social media giants to fight terrorism.”I will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.” President Obama said.

Tamara Fields provided that Twitter knowingly let the militant Islamist group use its network to spread propaganda, raise money and attract recruits.

Lawyers believe Tamara will face an uproar from social media users since the matter is sensitive. However, the case will make social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to take down posts associated with terrorist groups.

Tamara said Twitter had recently given Islamic State – 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.

The lady would like Twitter to pay triple damages for violating the federal Anti-Terrorism Act by having provided material support to terrorists. According to her lawyer, this 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. “Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.”

The growing concern forced senior national security officials to arrange a meeting with Twitter’s executives to discus what could be done to counter terrorists.

“Social media plays an important role in allowing ISIS to recruit foreign fighters,” said Jimmy Gurule, a University of Notre Dame law professor and former U.S. Treasury Department official specializing in terrorist financing.

“But at the end of the day, is there a sufficient nexus between ISIS’ use of Twitter and acts of terror?” he added. “I’m not saying you can’t show it but it’s a real challenge.”

Joshua Arisohn, a partner at Bursor & Fisher representing Tamara Fields, said his client can prevail by showing that Twitter’s activity was a substantial factor in her late husband’s death, and that the death could have been foreseen.

“Given the significant support that Twitter has knowingly provided to ISIS over the years, we’re confident that we can meet this standard,” Arisohn said in an email.

Tamara’s husband died in an attack on the police training center in Amman and she wants the terrorists to be punished. Ideally, Islamic state controls large areas of Iraq and Syria and they use the Internet to spread ill message. A research was done and it estimated that Islamic State supporters operated at least 46,000 Twitter accounts between September and December 2014.

However, Twitter holds that it’s a defender of free speech and they are not going to censor people’s opinion on the platform.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Erick Vateta
Tech Editor at Kachwanya.com
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Erick Vateta is a lawyer by training, poet, script and creative writer by talent, a model, and tech enthusiast. He covers International tech trends, data security and cyber attacks.
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