Wednesday 21 August 2019

Facebook, Google and Twitter sued by families of Orlando nightclub victims - report

A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida (AP)
A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida (AP)
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Facebook, Google and Twitter are being sued by families of the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting in which 49 were killed.

The civil suit is being taken against the social media platforms and search engine for allegedly providing "material support" to the Islamic State.

In the complaint filed by the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero, as reported initially by Fox News, it is argued that the three web channels "provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts they use to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds, and attract new recruits."

On June 12, 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen, who sympathised with Islamist extremist groups, opened fire inside Orlando's Pulse nightclub.

Omar Mateen. Photo: MySpace via AP
Omar Mateen. Photo: MySpace via AP

"Life has not been easy for me or my whole family," Juan Guerrero, the father of one of the victims, told FoxNews.com.

"It is something I remember and have to live with every day."

Mateen killed 49 people and injured over 50 others before he was shot dead himself by a SWAT team.

At the time, ISIS were quick to claim responsibility for the mass shooting but Mateen was not found to be a member.

It was the worst mass shooting in US history
It was the worst mass shooting in US history

“Mateen was radicalised by ISIS using the defendants tools for that express purpose,” Keith Altman, the lawyer representing the three families, told FoxNews.com.

"Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible," the suit reportedly says.

The three tech giants also came under fire during the summer when they were sued by the family of another terrorist attack victim, 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the Paris attacks.

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