SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The families of nine victims and four survivors of the ISIS inspired shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016, filed a lawsuit naming Google, Facebook and Twitter as defendants for providing material support to the terrorist group, ISIS.
Six grieving families joined a lawsuit that was filed in December 2016 by the families of three victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, Tevin Crosby, Juan Guerrero and Javier Jorge-Reyes. The amended complaint, filed Friday, March 31, 2017 in the eastern district of Michigan, includes the families of the late Stanley Almodovar III, Jason Josaphat, Christopher Leinonen, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, Christopher Sanfeliz, and Luis Vielma, as plaintiffs. Four survivors of the attack, Asael Abad, Jillian Amador, Christopher Littlestar and Nicholas Perez, also joined the lawsuit. Representing the families and survivors are Keith Altman and Ari Kresch of 1-800-LAW-FIRM of Southfield, Michigan.
The lawsuit asserts that the defendants knowingly permitted ISIS to use their platforms for recruiting purposes, spreading propaganda and raising funds to carry-out terror attacks. The use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (Google) enabled ISIS in acquiring over 30,000 foreign recruits, countless donations from supporters and a level of prosperity that would have been unachievable.
The gunman, Omar Mateen, an American ISIS recruit, is responsible for perpetrating the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history, leaving 49 dead and 53 wounded. Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier and pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State while on a call with police negotiators during the attack. Mateen was later gunned down by police officers at the scene of the attack.
"Social media companies continue to allow terrorists to operate, despite reasonable steps that could be undertaken to stop them. Google, Twitter and Facebook not only continue to let terror groups like ISIS use their sites to recruit and plan these attacks, they also profit from it," said Altman. Each of the defendants place advertisements on ISIS content, profiting directly from their postings. In at least the case of Google's YouTube, advertising revenue is shared with ISIS.