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Regulating Communications

Gonzalez v. Google, LLC and Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh


Gonzalez v. Google, LLC and Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh (U.S., cert granted Oct. 3, 2022, oral arguments scheduled Feb. 21-22, 2023): Plaintiffs allege that Google and Twitter are liable for the deaths of family members in ISIS terrorist attacks. Oral arguments will be held on February 21 and 22, with potentially broad communications-based implications. Gonzalez asks whether Section 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act immunizes online platforms making “targeted recommendations” of “information provided by another [] content provider” (e.g., ISIS). Five circuit courts have held that § 230(c)(1) immunizes online platforms, while three others have rejected immunity. Read the petition for cert here. Taamneh concerns Section 2333(d)(2) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which states that individuals who “aid and abet” terrorists “by knowingly providing substantial assistance” may be liable for injuries arising from international terrorism. The questions presented are whether online platforms “knowingly” provide substantial assistance to terrorist groups in failing to take more aggressive action to prevent terrorists’ use of their services, and whether online platforms can be liable if their services were not used for the specific terrorism event underlying the lawsuit. Read the petition for cert here.

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