ORLANDO: Families Of Three Pulse Victims Sue Social Media Outlets For Helping To Radicalize The Shooter

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Family members of three men killed in the Pulse nightclub attack are suing Twitter, Facebook and Google, claiming that the social media companies allowed the so-called Islamic State to post propaganda and push its agenda.

The suit was filed Monday in a federal court in eastern Michigan on behalf of the families of Tevin Crosby, 25; Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40; and Juan Guerrero, 22. Crosby was a Michigan native, and Jorge-Reyes has a sister who lives there.

The three men were among the 49 people killed when Omar Mateen opened fire in the nightclub June 12. In conversations with police that night, Mateen pledged his allegiance to ISIS.

In the lawsuit, Michigan attorney Keith Altman alleged that ISIS is “dependent of Twitter, YouTube [which Google owns] and Facebook to terrorize,” and that the group uses the social media platforms to recruit and spread its message.

The law firm’s name is 1-800-LAW-FIRM. For real.

  • Oikos

    That is a lawsuit that is going nowhere. Instead of wasting time and money, go after the gun lobby laws that made it possible for him to easily obtain a weapon.

    • bkmn


    • Especially since the Communications Decency Act specifically protects companies from lawsuits like this.

      • Smartypants

        The one potential upside to this is it could create such an annoyance for the social media companies that they throw their support behind reasonable gun control measures to help prevent future incidents.

        • Bj Lincoln

          And/or look into their claim and kick such shit off their sites. I can’t post nude art work but I can post ISIS rants?

          • marshlc

            Can post breastfeeding pics, either.

      • Roxannejchampion

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj238d:
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    • Bared Bear

      I agree. But I knew that when 20 little kids got shot and killed at Sandy Hook and the politicians and public let the NRA steer the conversation and ended up not doing crap on gun control… that nothing else, especially a bunch of young gay people’s deaths, is going to convince implementation of meaningful gun control.

      • Oikos

        Nothing will change these laws until republicans are removed from power.

        • Bj Lincoln

          I can imagine a scene where they would do something about gun control that would also take a bunch of Repugs out….of power.

        • marshlc

          It’s not just Republicans. It’s a culture that hates and fears its neighbours and distrusts its government.

          • B Snow

            I used to mock right-wingers for their distrust of our government, but it turns out they were right — except in their favor. Every loony conspiracy theory is coming true, but it was all projection — Republicans are doing everything their base said/feared Democrats would do.

            The right-wingers won’t believe it now, though.

          • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

            Since the FBI helped throw the election, I’m not so sure we should trust our government.

      • Agreed. Sandy Hook was the moment. If small children being murdered wasn’t enough to get us to do something about gun violence nothing would. And it didn’t. It’s clear the we as a culture are okay with innocent people, even children, being slaughtered in exchange for the right of anyone, even known terrorists, to buy firearms.

    • Craig S

      That seems very reasonable until you recall the incoming president and his stance on guns (more is better). We are in the upsidedown… maybe this lawsuit is the best way to make their point.

    • HanyBaal

      Require insurance for gun ownership. That sets the Insurance complex vs. Gun Lobby, Let the market regulate the way GOP touts

      • Bj Lincoln

        I have been in favor of that for years now. If I must carry insurance for my car, house and my pit bull, I don’t think it’s a stretch making it mandatory to insure all weapons. At least if some innocent dies, it can cover the burial instead of forcing the family to find to money.

      • B Snow

        That would be awesome. And it would get profits to the GOP’s insurance company-owning rich friends, which is one main point of repealing Obamacare.

      • Guest

        Would never happen. When FDR tried to get insurance companies to do flood insurance, they refused. There we oils not be a single flood insurance policy if it were not government backed. The insurance companies would demand this be governmemt backed too.

    • NancyP

      The lawsuit is going nowhere, but the name of the law firm is getting free publicity. No one is going to check up for results.

  • Dot Beech

    What is good for Peter Thiel should be good for the rest of us, too. Fight back.

  • bkmn

    I doubt this will go far.

  • pj

    good luck.

  • james1200

    At least they got an honest lawyer and he sure seems outraged by the situation.


  • Ander

    Yea, I dunno.

  • Mike C

    The lawyer who chased these victims families down for a little publicity should be deeply ashamed of himself, but I’m not sure there’s any shame left at all in this country.

    • leastyebejudged

      Where’d you get your law degree ?

      • Mike C

        ^ Found the lawyer.

        • leastyebejudged

          Because I asked you where you studied law ? You really are a dumbass, aren’t you ?

          • TrollopeReader

            You’re always *so* friendly in the sandbox.

          • leastyebejudged

            Nobody asked you, whore.

          • TrollopeReader

            actually, they did.

    • boatboy_srq

      There’s certainly precious little shame in the FL legal community.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Unfortunately, I think this endeavor is just anger being taken advantage of by lawyers. Their energy, time and money would probably be better spent on education, telling their stories in an effort to stem radicalization and working for saner laws in regards to guns. That all said, they are doing what they feel they need to do and it is not our place to castigate or shame their decision.

  • Butch

    I think, even given that it isn’t going anywhere, pressing the idea that the big social media platforms can’t just blink innocently and ask “who, me?” is positive.

    • Randy Ellicott

      Very true.

    • james1200

      They are trying to address it and they do have a policy against extremist speech.


    • boatboy_srq

      Let’s see how that works the moment someone tries to hold those same platforms accountable for some hatefully Xtian post/tweet.

    • Stanley

      Back in the day, I don’t recall hearing about the victims of Symbionese Liberation Army’s bombing suing the PHONE COMPANY because the SLA members used that technology to organize their activities.

      This is absolutely ridiculous. Obviously, the lawyer is out for the money and the publicity, the relatives…well, I’ll refrain from speculating….

      • Butch

        There is some difference in a medium that reaches millions of people at a time versus one that is only one on one.

  • pleasebereasonable1

    I truly feel for the families, but this is ridiculous.

  • Robert Conner

    GOOD FOR THEM! “Social” media has become a major recruitment tool for hate groups generally and for people seeking to bully and harass others at distance and these companies have no concern other than profits.

    • Mike C

      This attorney is just taking advantage of grieving people.

      • james1200

        Yup. He’s one of these lawyers that files nuisance lawsuits hoping they throw a few dollars his way to go away. Of course, what little he makes, he’ll keep and the families will get almost nothing.

      • another_steve

        ^^ That. Plus it’s free publicity. The law firm’s name and phone number will be seen worldwide.

      • William

        Ambulances move too fast. Chasing hearses is easier.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    So the other 46 families said, no thanks ?

  • Rick

    That makes about as much sense as suing Apple for making devices that interact with social media that ‘radicalizes’ terrorists.

    • safari

      The San Bernadino iPhone of infamy.

    • Or suing God for everything.

  • boatboy_srq

    Might as well sue Mateen’s parents for failing to bring their kid up right, while they’re at it.


  • Oikos
    • Ragnar Lothbrok

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      • Oikos

        Try scrolling down after you open the link. It displays oddly on my computer.

        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          Ugh. Yes. I’m so impatient

          • Oikos

            I think it might be a flash/script issue. I keep flash disabled until I need to use it.

          • vorpal

            *incompetent, but large penised.

  • David From Canada

    Trying to control Social Media and today’s Technology is similar to trying to control a herd of out-of-control raging elephants. Good Luck with that one!

  • AJA

    I remember the morning I heard about The Pulse. It was right after our local Pride, and as a gay man, this both enraged and terrified me. I can only imagine the grief-by-proxy that I felt is about 1000 times greater for the families of the victims.

    That being said, this is not the way. I know when tragedy happens, we look for a reason, and we look for someone to blame. We do have someone to blame: Omar Mateen. And he’s dead. I know it’s not enough to provide peace, but that’s all we can expect. To let the blame spiderweb out like this isn’t healing, it’s just letting your grief take control of you.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Actually, Omar’s dad could/should have a helping portion of that blame too. And he’s still alive.

  • Ninja0980

    I get their sadness and anger but at the end of the day, this is a lawsuit that will go nowhere.

  • EweTaw

    Hmmmm . . for some reason I don’t see this going anywhere. In wonder why?

  • Henry Auvil

    I blame Facebook for the trump presidency as much as I do James Comey, Wikileaks and the gullibility of an uninformed electorate, but I don’t think I could make a legal case out of it. Let’s take the fight to where we have a chance of winning.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Twitter needs to delete his account before we’re fucking nuked.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Can I sue them for radicalizing our voters and making them so fucking stupid that we now have a President Trump?

    • TrollopeReader

      Sue! Class Action!!

      • OdieDenCO

        a class action against the classless

    • William

      You would have to sue members of state education boards going back thirty years, for failure to teach critical thinking or civics.

      • Bj Lincoln

        Nailed it!

      • Bad Tom

        Operators are standing by!

    • RoFaWh

      One can only hope.

    • JCF

      Well, for scrolling fake news as readily as credible news…

  • Natty Enquirer

    Good luck with that.

  • Mike Knife

    We Are LGBTQ, We are your brothers, We are your sisters, We are many, We do not forget, Ten of us will rise up for every one cut down. We are here, Expect us.

  • Gigi

    I understand that they’re hurting but it seems like fool’s errand to sue companies that have such deep pockets. I wonder who their lawyer is.

  • Neon Maniac

    I’d like to sue Reddit, Twitter and Facebook for promoting and condoning white nationalism and the various flavors of scum that used to know enough to cling to the bottom of rocks.

  • Silver Badger

    It sounds like these people are suing the exercise of freedom of speech and required censorship.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild


      Once more because people don’t seem to understand the 1st Amendment.

      “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

      • Silver Badger

        Yes. You are preaching to the choir reverend. I was using the words of the haters against them. I apologize if I offended.

  • AJD

    Even if the lawsuit doesn’t work, I hope to see more like it. There’s nothing in the First Amendment that says social media companies owe a platform to terrorists and hate groups. They could easily go in and shut down every group like that if they wanted – they just lack the willpower or desire to. In the meantime, hate speech and incitement to terrorism and violence have thrived online. A lot of activists in Europe have been complaining to Facebook about pages that promote genocide against Roma for years, and those complaints have gone nowhere. Maybe if these companies are faced with the prospect of always having to fend off lawsuits by victims of people radicalized through their sites, they’ll actually decide that maybe allowing hateful and violent rhetoric in the name of “free speech” isn’t the best idea.

  • Barry William Teske

    I hope and pray they win.

  • Xiao Ai

    …And should continue to do so. What ISIS, Al Qaeda and the like need to be doing is shifting their targets from soft ones, like Pulse, to these:





    These corporations should be the places to attack. Anything else is just fluff for pussies.

  • This is idiotic. Facebook, Twitter and Google are three of the most LGBT friendly and supportive companies on the Planet. Sue ISIS if you’re looking for someone to sue.