Tamara Fields became a widow when her husband, Lloyd Carl Fields Jr., was killed in a terrorist attack in Jordan. Now Fields is suing Twitter, claiming that Twitter is not doing enough to shut down ISIS Twitter accounts, which they use for recruiting and planning terror attacks. (Full text of Tamara Fields v. Twitter lawsuit is linked below.)
“For years,” the lawsuit says, “Twitter has knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use its social network as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits. This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out numerous terrorist attacks, including the November 9, 2015 shooting attack in Amman, Jordan in which Lloyd ‘Carl’ Fields, Jr. was killed.”
Carl Fields was a government contractor, who was in Jordan to train Jordanian police with the U.S. State Department, when one of the Jordianian policemen shot and killed Fields and four colleagues, an action for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
Fields’ widow’s lawsuit against Twitter claims that, among other things, Twitter had as many as 70,000 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS, that were posting messages at the rate of 90 tweets a minute.
Says the lawsuit, “Since first appearing on Twitter in 2010, ISIS accounts on Twitter have grown at an astonishing rate and, until recently, ISIS maintained official accounts on Twitter unfettered. These official accounts included media outlets, regional hubs and well-known ISIS members, some with tens of thousands of followers. For example, Al-Furqan, ISIS’s official media wing responsible for producing ISIS’s multimedia propaganda, maintained a dedicated Twitter page where it posted messages from ISIS leadership as well as videos and images of beheadings and other brutal forms of executions to 19,000 followers.”
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One of ISIS’ Twitter Accounts
This is not the first time that Twitter has been smacked legally for not doing enough to squelch terror groups using their network. Last month Turkey fined Twitter for failing to delete ‘terrorist propaganda’.
But this is the first time that Twitter has been sued over ISIS-related activity, and in U.S. court.
In response to the lawsuit, Twitter issued the following statement:
While we believe the lawsuit is without merit, we are deeply saddened to hear of this family’s terrible loss. Like people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups and their ripple effects on the internet. Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.
We have teams around the world actively investigating reports of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, partnering with organizations countering extremist content online, and working with law enforcement entities when appropriate.
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