The wife of a private contractor killed by terrorists in Jordan has filed a lawsuit against site Twitter, claiming that the company abetted the cell by allowing the social media site to be used as a "tool for spreading extremist propaganda." 

Tamara Fields, the woman who filed the suit, has stated that Twitter facilitated her husband Lloyd "Carl" Fields' death due to the site's popularity with terrorist cells and groups — notably, members of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL), even though no direct messages were exchanged regarding the attack between the perpetrators.

According to the federal suit, the site acted against the regulations set up by the Anti-Terrorism Act, alleging that the company "knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use its social network as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds, and attracting new recruits."

The suit also contended that Twitter serves as a conduit for communication and promotion for the fundamentalist and  jihadist militant group, which is known for its extensive and comparatively sophisticated use of the platform. The suit states that "this material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS, especially in regards to "mujatweets," i.e., videos that promote ISIS' cause, as well as "instructional guidelines" that are posted via tweet on the micro-blog.

Despite the circumstances, Twitter considers the lawsuit fruitless. In an exclusive interview with ARS Technica, an unnamed Twitter rep commented that while the company expressed its condolences to the plaintiff and her family, it has done its best to combat Twitter users who utilize the site for like-minded purposes:

"While we believe the lawsuit is without merit, we are deeply saddened to hear of this family's terrible loss. Like people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups and their ripple effects on the Internet. Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear. We have teams around the world actively investigating reports of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, partnering with organizations countering extremist content online, and working with law enforcement entities when appropriate." 

Via: ARS Technica

Photo: Brian Turner | Flickr

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