WASHINGTON D.C. – For the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing cases deciding if tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, can still be protected from terrorism lawsuits.
CBS News Legal Analyst Thane Rosenbaum told WKOK’s On The Mark both suits are coming from family members of terrorism victims – one questioning if the decades old Section 230 US federal law still gives tech giants immunity, “On the theory that the terrorists who committed these crimes operate through these social media companies, communicate with each other through social media, and more importantly do two things; they learn how to make bombs and kill people, and they recruit their members that way.”
Rosenbaum says the tech giants are arguing they’re private companies and are just platforms, “We’re not making videos showing you how to make a bomb in your kitchen. We’re just making the website available to do so. We were told Section 230 provides immunity for third party content. We could never possibly police all of this.”
Rosenbaum says the victims’ families argue these giants are more than that, “(They say) You curate the content. You target your audience. You tell those terrorists, ‘Now that you’ve seen this video, here’s some more stuff you can look at.’ So you’re more of an active participant in these crimes and you should be stripped of your immunity.”
Rosenbaum says the second case will decide if the tech giants violated the anti-terrorism act, which doesn’t allow any activity assisting terrorists.
You can hear more analysis from CBS’ Thane Rosenbaum on the WKOK.com Podcast Page or wherever you listen to podcasts.