Twitter, Google Receive Big Relief From US Supreme Court In Content Liability Cases: Report

Twitter and Google were brought to the court by families of terror attack victims
US Supreme Court
US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court on Thursday reportedly provided relief to tech giants Twitter and Google in content liability cases filed against them by families of terror attack vicitims.

The Hill reported that the court said the companies can’t be held accountable for the content that’s posted on their platforms. 

Supreme Court hearing in the cases had brought Section 230, a decades old law protecting tech platforms from liability for any third party content, into the spotlight. 

For the unversed, the cases were brought by families of victims who were killed in ISIS terrorist attacks. 

In 2015, Nohemi Gonzalez was killed during an ISIS attack in Paris. Family of Gonzalez asked the court to hold Youtube liable for allegeldy recommending pro-ISIS videos.

Similarly, the case against Twitter pertains to the 2017 Istanbul terror attack at Reina nightclub in which around 38 people were killed. Family of one of the victims, Nawras Alassaf, moved the court against Twitter, alleging the platform of not doing enough to combat ISIS-related content.

Justice Clarence Thomas noted in the ruling that the claims made by the family in the case fell “far short of plausibly alleging that defendants aided and abetted the Reina attack”. 

Google’s General Counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado said that the decision will reassure companies, content creators and civil society organisations who joined the firm in the case. 

“We’ll continue our work to safeguard free expression online, combat harmful content, and support businesses and creators who benefit from the internet,” Prado was quoted as saying by The Hill.  

However, it is important to note that the court has not addressed fully the question surrounding Section 230. The court observed that the cases were not sustainable as the platforms did not abet the terror attacks, thus avoiding the question over the law protecting the tech platforms. 

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