U.S. Supreme Court to decide if Google and Twitter can help promote, coordinate and profit from calls for violence against police
"Landmark case [could] change the landscape of public safety for future generations."
In 2015, twelve ISIS shooters killed 130 people in coordinated attacks around Paris. In Istanbul, an ISIS-trained gunman killed 39 and wounded 69 in a crowded nightclub on New Year's 2017.
Relatives of Nohemi Gonzalez and Nawras Alassaf, who were killed in the Paris and Istanbul attacks, respectively, sued Google and Twitter under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Gonzales v. Google and Taamneh v. Twitter). They asserted the social media companies provided material support to ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization, by granting them access to the communications infrastructure that ISIS used to publish terroristic content, enlist new recruits and plan and execute attacks. Additionally, plaintiffs emphasized that the defendants shared revenue through the monetization of ISIS content and targeted ads.
Google and Twitter responded the claims were barred by 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1), a provision of the Communication Decency Act, which states:
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher of speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
Plaintiffs countered that Google-owned YouTube's algorithmic content recommendations and targeted ads changed it from an "interactive computer service" to an "information content provider" (ICP), thereby removing its Section 230 immunity. Section 230(f)(3) defines an ICP as any "person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet."
A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintif