This week, the families of five Americans who were either killed or injured in terror attacks in the Israel-Palestine conflict sued Facebook for $1 billion, claiming the social media giant “provided material support” to the Hamas terrorist organization.
The lawsuit claimed that Hamas “has used and relied on Facebook’s online social-network platform and communications services as among its most important tools to facilitate and carry out its terrorist activity.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has faced a lawsuit for its inaction against terrorists. Last month, the family of an American student killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris filed a nearly identical lawsuit against the site, plus Twitter and Google, claiming the tech companies all provided “material support” to the terrorists.
Facebook did not comment specifically on the lawsuit, but the site did release a statement noting that it does not tolerate extremism.
“There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook,” the site said. “We have a set of Community Standards … and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”
Even if Facebook wants to preserve free speech on its pages, it’s clear the site may need to step up its efforts to fight terrorism in the face of mounting political and legal pressure.