In two lawsuits contending that the tech giants should reportedly be held responsible for ISIS attacks because of information the terror group pushed via their platforms, the Supreme Court granted legal victories to Google and Twitter on Thursday.
The relatives of the victims filed separate lawsuits against the firms.
In the Twitter case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a majority judgment in which he stated that the families had not shown enough proof to hold the firms responsible for aiding and abetting the crime.
The question of whether the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230, which grants digital platforms some protection from some criminal and civil charges, is relevant was not addressed by the justices.
According to Nohemi Gonzalez’s family, Google, the company that owns YouTube, knowingly let the Islamic State to broadcast hundreds of videos on the platform that served as tools for inciting violence and luring new recruits.
One of 130 unarmed civilians killed in Paris after a string of IS-affiliated assaults in November 2015 was the 23-year-old American citizen studying abroad.
In the lawsuit involving Twitter, the issue of responsibility under Section 2333 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and whether posting terrorist information online may be considered aiding and abetting under federal civil law, notwithstanding liability protections in Section 230, were at issue.