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Shurat Hadin law center wants social media giant held accountable for allowing Islamic State to use its platform to disseminate its radical doctrine, recruit operatives • Twitter should understand supporting terrorism is not worthwhile, attorney says.
An Israeli advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against social media giant Twitter for allowing Islamic State propaganda to flourish on its platform.
The Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center filed the suit with the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that Islamic State uses Twitter to recruit operatives, disseminate jihadi propaganda and promote terrorist attacks, such as the Brussels airport bombing in March 2016 and the November 2015 Paris attacks, which together claimed nearly 200 lives and left hundreds of people wounded.
“This is the first lawsuit that details how Twitter has played a key role in making Islamic State the most formidable terrorist organization in the world today, and how Islamic State uniquely used Twitter in the context of two of the most serious attacks to take place in Europe recently,” Shurat Hadin Chairwoman attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner explained Monday.
Compared to other social media platforms, she noted, “Twitter is unique in that it has adamantly refused to block terrorists from using its services, citing ‘freedom of tweeting,’ even if this directly spell mass murder.”
The lawsuit describes in detail many unique ways in which Islamic State uses Twitter’s platform as a weapon, including using applications and hashtags meant to significantly increase the exposure of its tweets, and systematically recruiting new operatives.
Using the Paris and Brussels attacks as examples, the suit claims that “Twitter was a tool at the hand of key individuals involved in those attacks, including the direct commander of the Paris attack, and the ISIS engineer who built the bombs in both attacks, and was the suicide bomber in Brussels.”
Darshan-Leitner argued that the suit “exposed the direct links between Twitter and terrorism, and when justice is served in this case it would force Twitter, along with others [other social media platforms], to understand that supporting terrorism is not worthwhile.”