By Amy R. Connolly
The father of Nohemi Gonzalez, (right), a California college student who was killed in the November terrorist attacks in Paris, sued Twitter, Facebook and Google. Photo courtesy Strate Ecole de Design/Facebook
LONG BEACH, Calif., June 16 (UPI) -- The father of a California college student who was killed in the November terrorist attacks in Paris sued Twitter, Facebook and Google, saying the social media sites have allowed members of the Islamic State to use the social media platforms to further their reach.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleged the companies provide "material support" to the IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh. Reynaldo Gonzalez said the companies allowed the IS to prepare and carry out "acts of international terrorism," including the attack that killed his daughter, Nohemi Gonzalez. The 23-year-old from El Monte, Calif., was the only American killed in the attack that left another 129 dead.
"Without Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said as of December 2014, the IS had an estimated 70,000 Twitter accounts, with at least "official" accounts. It posted "at least 90 tweets every minute."
Google, which owns YouTube, said, "Our hearts go out to the victims of terrorism and their families everywhere.
"While we cannot comment on pending litigation, YouTube has a strong track record of taking swift action against terrorist content. We have clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence and quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users," the company said.
Twitter and Facebook officials did not comment.
Gonzalez was a California State University-Long Beach senior majoring in industrial design. She was one of 17 students attending Strate College of Design in Paris as part of a semester-abroad program. She was killed while eating with friends at La Belle Equipe.
I've been wondering why Twitter and Facebook haven't been nailed for their supporting role, not just in attacks but also in recruitment for ISIS. This is a conversation that is long overdue.