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Families of Orlando Shooting Victims Sue Social Media Giants

  • VOA News

FBI officials leave the Pulse night club, the site of a mass shooting days earlier, in Orlando, Florida, June 15, 2016.

The families of three victims killed this year during the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub are suing three social media companies for allegedly providing “material support” to the gunman.

The lawsuit, filed by the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero, alleges that Facebook, Google and Twitter made it too easy for Islamic State jihadists to create social media accounts used to spread their message and raise funds.

According to the suit, material support provided by the social media companies “has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out or cause to be carried out, numerous terrorist attacks.”

Facebook responds

The gunman in the Pulse nightclub shooting, Oman Mateen, pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State group multiple times before and after he killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

Facebook, in a statement released Tuesday, denied that it provides a space for terrorism related content, and said it removes the content as quickly as possible when it is identified.

“We are committed to providing a service where people feel safe when using Facebook,” the statement read. “We sympathize with the victims and their families.”

Earlier this month, the three companies, along with Microsoft, said they would launch a shared database where they can share “digital finger prints” with each other in an effort to weed out terrorist content.

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