Two lawsuits against Facebook, including a $1 billion claim that it aided and abetted terrorism, are scheduled to be heard in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
According to a press release by the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the billion-dollar case centers on the death of U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, who died in March 2016 in a Hamas stabbing attack when he was visiting Israel as part of a Vanderbilt University program.
The lawsuit, filed by his family, claims Facebook is liable for “illegally providing its services to Hamas.” The case will detail how terrorists have used the social media platform to promote and carry out their activity, lawyers say. The case was originally filed in July of last year.
The other case was brought by more than 20,000 Israel citizens against Facebook in October 2015. It claims Palestinian terror groups utilized Facebook and other social media to “initiate, recruit and incite a wave of daily terrorist stabbing and shooting attacks that lasted more than six months,” lawyers claim.
The lawsuits are asking for an order requiring Facebook to shut down accounts that it provides to terrorists. They are also seeking for Facebook to use it algorithms to “block incitement to violence against Jews and Israelis.”
“The terrorist stabbing attacks throughout Israel and the murder of these innocent American and Israeli victims would never have occurred without the massive wave of incitement over social media,” said Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
“Facebook believes it is entitled to make billions of dollars annually while having no obligations to police its webpages and filter out calls to murder innocent Jews worldwide.”
Last year a federal judge presiding over the cases, said Facebook might not be doing enough to deter terrorists from using its platform, Bloomberg reported.
Isn’t the social media platform “basically putting together people who’d like to be involved in terrorism with people who are terrorists?” the Judge Nichols Garaufis asked. “Doesn’t Facebook have some moral obligation to help cabin the kinds of communications that appear on it?”
The Israeli Law Center noted Facebook has filed a motion to dismiss both cases, which are being heard together.