Lawyers have filed a lawsuit for $1 billion against social media giant Facebook alleging that it allowed Hamas the Palestinian militant group to use its platform to plot its attacks that cost the lives of four Americans while wounding one in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank.
According to the newly filed lawsuit, Facebook knowingly provided material resources and support to Hamas through Facebook’s online social media platform and its communications services, thus making it liable for violence brought against five Americans.
The lawsuit added that simply put, Hamas used Facebook as a tool to engage in terrorism.
By the United States, the European Union as well as Israel, Hamas is considered a terrorist group.
The suit says that the organization used Facebook as a way to share tactical and operational information with members as well as followers posting notices for upcoming road closures, demonstrations, military actions by Israel and instructions for operatives to carry out their attacks.
A senior leader in Hamas, Mushir al-Masri, said that suing Facebook shows clearly the policy of the U.S. of fighting freedom of expression and press and evidence of the prejudice the U.S. has against Hamas.
In a response for a comment, Facebook replied that it wants people using Facebook to feel safe. It added that are is no place for any content that encourages violence, terrorism, hate speech or threats on Facebook.
In March, the social media giants took a page down that promoted a new uprising of the Palestinians against Israel saying direct calls for violence were made by the page, which it added was a direct violation of the polices of the company.
Online terrorism experts from Haifa University Gabriel Weimann said that technology would be for more effective in discouraging use of social media for purposes that are violent, than would litigation.
The focus he said should be on the development of faster ways of detecting messages that are problematic so they are blocked almost immediately prior to going viral.
Facebook is just one platform and there are many others so will they sue all of them, asked Weimann.
The lawsuit was submitted in New York July 10. The Plaintiffs include families of the four people killed and one injured dating back to June of 2014.
In February of 2015, a jury at this same court concluded that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority aided six attacks in Israel on Americans over a decade ago. The two were ordered to pay over $218.4 million to victims and families of the victims.