Facebook Inc. is facing a $1 billion lawsuit for allegedly allowing Palestinian militants from the Hamas group to use the platform to plot attacks that killed five Americans in Israel and the West Bank. The lawsuit was filed Monday by the families of the victims in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
"Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook’s online social network platform and communication services,” making it liable for the violence against the five Americans, the lawsuit said, according to Bloomberg. “Simply put, Hamas uses Facebook as a tool for engaging in terrorism."
The lawsuit also stated that Hamas group, which is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and Israel, used Facebook to share operational and tactical information with members and its followers.
“Suing Facebook clearly shows the American policy of fighting freedom of the press and expression,” Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas leader, said by phone to Bloomberg, adding that it was evidence of U.S. prejudice against the group and “its just cause.”
The social networking site did not directly respond to the lawsuit, but said that it wants “people to feel safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook,” the company said. “We have a set of Community Standards to help people understand what is allowed on Facebook, and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”