Can YouTube Be Held Accountable For CSLB Student's Death?

A Cal State Long Beach student was one of 130 people killed in Islamic State group attacks in November 2015. The attackers struck cafes, outside the French national stadium and inside the Bataclan theater. Gonzalez died in an attack at La Belle Equipe bistro, according to the Long Beach Post News.

The student’s relatives sued Google, parent of YouTube, saying the platform helped the Islamic State group commit the crime by allowing it to post hundreds of videos to incite violence and recruit potential supporters. The company’s computer algorithms recommended videos to viewers.

"The use of algorithms to make those recommendations doesn't make Facebook liable for the posts, Circuit Judge Christopher Droney wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Richard Sullivan," wrote Wendy Davis, journalist at MediaPost, in a report published Monday.

While a judge dismissed the case, a federal appeals court upheld the ruling. The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear two cases seeking to hold social media companies financially responsible for terrorist attacks. The cases are seen as an important test of the federal law that generally makes internet companies exempt from liability for the material users post on their networks.

Relatives of the people killed in terrorist attacks in France and Turkey had sued Google, Twitter, and Facebook, according to the report. The court is expected to hear arguments this winter, making decisions before the summer recess in late June.

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