In US Supreme Court, Twitter accused of 'blindness' to terrorism

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&To the US Supreme Court, Twitter charged with “blindness” to terrorism

Twitter was accused Wednesday of turning a blind eye to the online actions of the jihadist group Islamic State.

Twitter was accused Wednesday of turning a blind eye to the online actions of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), during a hearing at the United States Supreme Court , responsible for deciding whether the social network could be prosecuted for complicity in acts of terrorism.

There is an accusation of willful blindness here… You knew ISIS was using your platform, noted Judge Sonia Sotomayor, speaking to the lawyer representing the social network.

The nine judges of the instance took up a complaint filed by the relatives of a victim of an attack by the ;IS at an Istanbul nightclub in 2017.

According to the family, Twitter is complicit in this act of terrorism for failing to remove tweets from the group or stop recommending those tweets (via automated algorithms).

The platform, supported by its rivals (Google, Facebook, etc.), assures for its part that being a service used by tens of millions of people in the world does not prove that it helps knowingly terrorist groups.

On Tuesday, a hearing on a similar issue took place: the family of a victim of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris accuses YouTube (subsidiary of Google) of having supported the growth of ISIS by suggesting group videos to certain users.

At the heart of both complaints is Section 230, a 1996 law that grants legal immunity to digital companies for content uploaded by Internet users on their platforms.

The major companies in the sector defend tooth and nail this status of hosts – and not publishers – which they believe has allowed the advent of the Internet as it has taken shape.

Supreme Court justices on Tuesday expressed doubts about the relevance of Section 230 today, but also their reluctance to influence the fate of a law become fundamental for the digital economy.

On Wednesday, they formulated numerous hypotheses to determine how the platforms could be held complicit in acts of terrorism.

In 1997, CNN did an interview with Osama bin Laden, a very famous interview. According to your theory, could CNN have been sued for complicity in the attacks of September 11? asked Judge Brett Kavanaugh, for example.

There are many voices in the US Congress calling for an overhaul of Section 230. But given the starkly different perspectives left and right, legislative efforts to amend the text do not ;never came to fruition.

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