During a recent discussion with Fox Business, Attorney Keith Altman speaks on behalf of a father grieving the loss of his daughter in the Paris terror attack. Altman discusses the lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter, and Google, accusing these major tech companies of unintentionally aiding ISIS by permitting the spread of extremist content through their platforms.
Altman’s Response to Tech Giants
While Google chooses to remain silent because of the ongoing legal proceedings, Facebook and Twitter reject the lawsuit's validity. These companies highlight their rigorous policies against extremist content; for example, Facebook emphasizes its prompt removal of terrorist-related content and partnership with law enforcement agencies.
Altman, however, wasn’t surprised by the defensive statements from the accused companies. He expects such reactions, pointing out that it's rare for defendants to admit the validity of a plaintiff's claims. Rather, Altman shifts the conversation to question if these tech companies are genuinely doing all they can to safeguard their platforms from terrorist misuse.
The Bottom Line of the Lawsuit Against Facebook, Twitter, and Google
The lawsuit aims to focus on the environment and the system these tech platforms provide rather than to punish them for the content posted by the terrorists. The environment and systems, as per Atlam, help groups like ISIS to spread propaganda, recruit, and conduct operations effectively. The legal action seeks to urge these companies to adopt a more aggressive and sensible strategy to prevent their infrastructures from being exploited for terrorist activities.
Altman further explained that the lawsuit does not aim to entirely eliminate online terrorism or expecting companies to monitor every post. It’s about questioning whether more preventive measures could be taken. To illustrate, he provides an example: when a platform related to ISIS is taken down, a comparable one usually resurfaces swiftly. According to Altman, this pattern signals a need for adopting strategies that are more proactive in disrupting online terrorist networks.
The Legal Grounds
The lawsuit is based on the Terrorism Act, which declares that entities offering material support to international terrorists can be held responsible if an American citizen is harmed. The lawsuit examines how much these tech giants might be indirectly aiding terrorists by providing a platform where they can operate freely.
Altman’s appearance on Fox Business sheds light on the legal struggle undertaken by a grieving father against major social media platforms. The lawsuit questions the commitment and accountability of these platforms in curtailing the spread of extremist content. It’s a reminder of the ongoing struggle against terrorism in the digital age, pushing tech companies to reevaluate and strengthen their defenses against the online propagation of hate and terror.
This interview provides the public with insight into a complex legal confrontation between a victim’s family and prominent tech companies. The outcome of this case is likely to impact the way online platforms manage extremist content in the future. For now, Altman promises to keep the public informed as the case progresses through the courts in California.
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Dr. Timothy Markley, Ed.D., is the Director of Student Defense at KAL and an accomplished author. He has written notable articles, including "Passing a School Bond in the Era of Social Media: District Administration" (April 2015). Tim is highly regarded as a speaker at state and national education conferences, including the Mecklenburg and New Hanover County School Justice Relationship Models.