Twitter v. Taamneh
Twitter v. Taamneh is a case that’s closely related to Gonzalez. In this case, the question is whether Twitter (and other prominent tech companies) can be sued regardless of Section 230 for aiding and abetting terrorism because ISIS used their platforms. The family of one of the victims of a terrorist attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul sued under a federal law, the Antiterrorism Act. Under that law, a person or company can be held liable for terrorist acts if they aid and abet by knowingly providing substantial assistance to terrorists. The Ninth Circuit allowed the aiding and abetting claim to go forward.
Twitter asks the Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s ruling: Twitter’s main contention is that the complaint filed by the plaintiffs doesn’t even allege that ISIS used Twitter to assist its commission of the attack. Without an allegation of that sort, Twitter says they can’t be held to have aided and abetted the attack.
Taamneh argues that the underlying federal law is broader: One doesn’t need to show a connection to a specific terrorist attack, just as, ( in the Gonzalez case), the company or person just needs to provide assistance and not removing their videos is assistance. Notably, the US Government took different positions in the Gonzalez and Twitter cases: the United State’s argue that the complaint in the Gonzalez case should move forward based on the algorithms used to recommend YouTube videos, but the lower court decision in the Twitter case was wrong because the family hasn’t shown that Twitter has provided more than “generalized support” for ISIS.