Father of Paris attack victim sues Google, Facebook & Twitter for spreading ‘extremist propaganda’

Reynaldo Gonzalez (L), father of Nohemi Gonzalez, cries during the funeral service for Nohemi Gonzalez at the Calvary Chapel in Downey, California on December 4, 2015 © Genaro Molina
The father of an American woman who was killed in the November 2015 Paris attacks is suing Google, Facebook and Twitter, claiming the social media giants provided “material support” to Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL).

Reynaldo Gonzalez, whose daughter Nohemi was among the 130 victims of the horrifying Paris attacks, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in the Northern District of California on Tuesday.

The claim is based on the premise that Google, Facebook and Twitter “knowingly permitted” IS to raise money, recruit members and publish its “extremist propaganda” on their websites.

In response, the social media giants said that the case had no merit, adding that each company has its own policy against extremist material.

Google said it had “clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence and quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users.”

Facebook said that if it sees “evidence of a threat of imminent harm or a terror attack, we reach out to law enforcement.”

Twitter also cited its policy: “Teams around the world actively investigating reports of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, and working with law enforcement entities when appropriate.”

However, a lawyer from Gonzalez’s legal team, Ari Kresch, told AP that the social media companies are being sued for the kind of behavior they allowed and not what was necessary published via their services.

“This complaint is not about what ISIS’s messages say,” he said. “It is about Google, Twitter and Facebook allowing ISIS to use their social media networks for recruitment and operations.”

The lawsuit also implies that Google’s ads ran along with IS videos on YouTube, which could mean that Google shared revenue with Islamic State.