Nellie Bowles “Widow of American killed in Jordan attack sues Twitter over growth of Isis”

昨年11月にヨルダンでISIS*1に夫を虐殺された*2 Tamara Fieldsさんは桑港のツィッター社をISISの増長を幇助した咎で告訴した。曰く、ツィッターなしにはここ数年のISISの爆発的成長はなかった。彼女によれば、ISISは去年の11月の時点で、約7万のツィッター・アカウントを持ち、1分当たり90のツィートを発信していた。

“While we believe the lawsuit is without merit, we are deeply saddened to hear of this family’s terrible loss,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “Like people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups and their ripple effects on the internet. Violent threats and the promotion of terrorism deserve no place on Twitter and, like other social networks, our rules make that clear.

“We have teams around the world actively investigating reports of rule violations, identifying violating conduct, partnering with organizations countering extremist content online, and working with law enforcement entities when appropriate.”


This lawsuit is unique in using the US Anti-Terrorism Act, which has mostly been used by Americans to sue Hamas, Hezbollah and other alleged foreign terrorist organizations, said Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer and vice-chairman of the California Republican party.

“The same argument could be used against phone companies for allowing alleged terrorists to place phone calls, or Fedex for allowing alleged terrorists to mail pamphlets,” Dhillon said.

“There are many viewpoints held by Americans that other Americans would say are offensive, or support terrorism. I’ve seen the occupation in Oregon described as terrorism. By allowing tweets that support the Oregon occupiers, is Twitter providing material support to terrorists?”

The federal courts of appeals have been split on the issue of just how broad the Anti-Terrorism Act is. A couple of years ago there was a lawsuit, Rothstein v UBS AG, against UBS for aiding and abetting Hamas by carrying out routine banking transactions that ultimately benefited terrorists – the lawsuit was dismissed by the trial court. On the other hand, in a landmark 2014 case, BNP Paribas pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit $9bn for moving about that amount through the US on behalf of known terrorist groups*3 .


For the social media giants, the biggest challenge might not just be an ethical issue but a practical one; it’s very difficult to find terrorists and requires enormous amounts of resources.

“If you’re trying to monitor Isis you need people who speak Farsi, Russian, Uzbek and many different Arabic dialects. Some of these are very narrow sets of languages where even the CIA has trouble recruiting people with these language skills,” says Daniel O’Connor, vice-president of public policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association.

*1:See also

*2:See Taylor Luck, Peter Beaumont, and Jessica Glenza Taylor Luck, Peter Beaumont, and Jessica Glenza”At least five killed by Jordanian police officer in training centre shooting”

*3:See Lauren J. Resnick, Margaret E. Hirce and Kaitlyn A. Ferguson “Banks under fire: The rise of private lawsuits under the Anti-Terrorism Act”