SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 20, 2016 — Family members of Tevin Crosby, Juan Guerrero and Javier Jorge-Reyes who were killed in the ISIS inspired Orlando, Florida shooting at Pulse Nightclub in June 2016, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, December 19, naming Google, Facebook and Twitter as defendants for providing material support to the terrorist group ISIS.
Representing the families are Keith Altman and Ari Kresch of 1-800-LAW-FIRM of Southfield, Michigan. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The lawsuit asserts that the defendants knowingly permitted ISIS to use their platforms for recruiting purposes, spreading propaganda and raising funds to carry-out terror attacks. Through the use of the defendants’ platforms, ISIS has acquired over 30,000 foreign recruits, countless donations, and a level of prosperity that would have been unachievable otherwise.
The Orlando gunman, Omar Mateen, is responsible for ending the lives of 25-year-old Crosby, 22-year-old Guerrero and 40-year-old Reyes along with 46 others in what is now known as one of the worst mass shootings in U.S history. Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State while on a call with police during the attack. Among the contributing factors that led to the tragedy, Mateen was in part radicalized by ISIS propaganda posted on the defendants’ platforms.
The complaint incorporates intelligence that the defendants are using ISIS’ posts to create unique content by combining these posts with advertisements selected by them. Once these posts and advertisements are combined, this newly created content is being served to specific viewers who have a propensity towards that particular content.
“Social media companies continue to allow terrorists to operate, despite reasonable steps that could be undertaken to stop them. The defendants not only continue to let terror groups like ISIS use their sites to tout hate and plan attacks, they also profit from it,” said Altman. Each of the defendants place advertisements on ISIS content, profiting directly from their postings. In at least the case of Google’s YouTube, advertising revenue is shared with ISIS.
Altman and Kresch are also representing Reynaldo Gonzalez, the father of Nohemi Gonzalez, the only American victim of the ISIS perpetrated Paris, France attacks in November 2015.