Supreme Court Shields Tech Companies From Liability For Terrorist Content

The Supreme Court unanimously sided with tech companies Thursday in two cases that charged them with “aiding and abetting” terrorism, declining to address a heated question on the extent of immunity granted to social media platforms for content hosted on their website.

Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion in Twitter v. Taamneh, a lawsuit brought by the family of a Jordanian citizen, Nawras Alassaf, who was killed in the January 2017 ISIS attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. Thomas wrote that “plaintiffs’ allegations are insufficient to establish that these defendants aided and abetted ISIS in carrying out the relevant attack.”

In light of their decision in Twitter v. Taamneh, the Court “decline[d] to address” the application of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which was specifically challenged in the other case, Gonzalez v. Google, brought by the family of a 23-year-old American student killed in a 2015 ISIS terrorist attack at a Paris bistro.

Logo, Google Sydney by Mitchell Luo is licensed under Unsplash

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