Facebook faces $1 billion suit over Hamas attacks

Facebook faces $1 billion suit over Hamas attacks
© Getty Images

A $1 billion lawsuit filed this weekend alleges that Facebook is liable for Hamas attacks in Israel and the West Bank that were allegedly facilitated in part by the group’s use of the social network.

“For years, Hamas, its leaders, spokesmen, and members have openly maintained and used official Facebook accounts with little or no interference,” the lawsuit says.


“Despite receiving numerous complaints and widespread media and other attention for providing its online social media platform and communications services to Hamas, Facebook has continued to provide these resources and services to Hamas and its affiliates.”

The lawsuit charges Facebook with violating anti-terror laws, among other claims.

Family members of four Americans killed in the attacks, as well as a fifth who was wounded, filed the suit in federal court in New York on Sunday. It alleges that Facebook plays an “essential role” in Hamas’s operations.

The plaintiffs in the case were killed or injured in attacks that took place since 2014.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

It’s the latest in a string of lawsuits trying to tie social networks to terrorists that use them.

A lawsuit filed in June against Twitter, Google and Facebook argued that the companies were liable for the role social media played in the 2015 terror attacks in Paris. A January lawsuit argued that Twitter was providing material assistance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Observers generally view such lawsuits as legal long shots, even though they attract attention when they are filed. A 1996 law gives digital platforms significant immunity from lawsuits having to do with harm inflicted by their users.