Family of US student killed in Paris attacks sues social media companies

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A Paris Victim's Father Is Suing Google, Twitter and Facebook

June 16 (Reuters) - The family of a California design student killed in November's attacks in Paris sued Twitter Inc , Google and Facebook Inc, claiming the social media companies provide "material support" to the militant group Islamic State.

SEE ALSO: British lawmaker shot dead, EU referendum campaigns suspended

Nohemi Gonzalez's family filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, asking the court to rule that the companies are violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. It seeks compensatory damages to be determined by the court.

"For years, defendants have knowingly permitted the terrorist group ISIS to use their social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit charged that the companies' "material support" has enabled Islamic State to recruit, and to fund and carry out numerous terror attacks, including the attacks in Paris last November that killed 130 people, including Gonzalez, who was a California State University student studying abroad at the time.

Related: Stories of other Paris attack victims:

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Stories of those who died in the Paris attacks
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Stories of those who died in the Paris attacks
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this undated photo provided by Christophe N'Guyen, Cedric Gomet poses for a photograph in Paris. Gomet, of Paris, was a technician for French television network TV5Monde, when he died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks. (Christophe N'Guyen/TV5Monde via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Here is a memorial for Thomas Duperron, reading "rest in peace and in music".(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Displayed is a memorial for Suzon. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
This photo courtesy of Ombeline Le Gendre shows Pierre Innocenti, left, and Stéphane Albertini. Innocenti and Albertini died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks when they both went to the Bataclan to enjoy the rock music they both loved. (photo courtesy of Ombeline Le Gendre via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Displayed, is a memorial for Mathieu Hoche.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
This undated photo provided by Mathilde Mayet shows Lamia Mondeguer. Mondeguer died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks while celebrating a friend’s birthday at the La Belle Equipe bar. (Mathilde Mayet via AP)
This undated photo provided by Mathilde Mayet shows Lamia Mondeguer. Mondeguer died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks while celebrating a friend’s birthday at the La Belle Equipe bar. (Mathilde Mayet via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Displayed is a memorial for Cecil and Luis .(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this photo taken on Sept. 9, 2011 photo provided by Nicolas Louis, Eric Thome poses for a photograph in Paris. Thome, 39, was an artist, fan of music and father with a 5-year-old girl and another child on the way when he died during the terrorst attack at Bataclan concert hall in Paris. Thome and a partner were running their own Paris design studio after working in the advertising business for years. (Nicolas Louis via AP)
This undated family handout photo issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Saturday Nov. 14, 2015 shows Nick Alexander of England. Nick Alexander, one of the victims of the attacks in Paris, was working at the Bataclan concert hall selling merchandise for the performing band. (Foreign & Commonwealth Office via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
This photo courtesy of Eric Fourmentin shows Romain Didier. Didier died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks while celebrating a friend’s birthday at the La Belle Equipe bar. (Courtesy of Eric Fourmentin via AP)

This undated photo provided by Julien Noel shows Pierre-Antoine Henry. By profession, Henry was an engineer for a company that designed systems for military use. But the father of two was also a dedicated rock fan who had traveled far and wide to see his favorite band, Pearl Jam, said childhood friend Noel. Henry had followed his yen for music to the Eagles of Death Metal show at the Bataclan, where he was killed Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Paris. (Julien Noel via AP)

Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
In this 2013 photo provided by Leslie Winer, Anne Cornet Guyomard and Pierre-Yves Guyomard are showered with confetti on their wedding day in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. The couple was killed during the attacks in Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (Christophe Van Huffel/Leslie Winer via AP)
In this 2013 photo provided by Leslie Winer, Anne Cornet Guyomard and Pierre-Yves Guyomard pose for a photo while seated in a car on their wedding day in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. The couple was killed during the attacks in Paris, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. (Christophe Van Huffel/Leslie Winer via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
An undated photo provided by Joseph Anticevic shows his wife Armelle Pumir Anticevic riding in one of Joseph's cruise boats, named for her. Armelle Pumir Anticevic, 46-year-old mother of two children, ages 9 and 11, was a victim of the Paris attacks. She died at the rock concert at Bataclan hall, where she and her husband had gone to celebrate. He survived. (Joseph Anticevic via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in memory in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 120 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

This undated photo provided by Eponyme Galerie shows Alban Denuit, who was killed during attacks claimed by the Islamic State group that took place in several locations in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Denuit, a 32-year-old American, was a teacher and an artist whose work had been exhibited in Paris. (Eponyme Galerie via AP)

Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Here is a memorial for Pierre, reading "you were the joy of life". (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
This December 2012 photo provided by Stephen Fox shows Fanny Minot, one of the victims in the deadly attacks in Paris that occurred Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Paris. Minot, 29, was an editor at the show, "Le Supplement." "She was such a loving, compassionate person, with such an adventurous view on life," said her friend Stephen Fox. (Stephen Fox via AP)
This December 2012 photo provided by Stephen Fox shows Fanny Minot, one of the victims in the deadly attacks in Paris that occurred Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Paris. Minot, 29, was an editor at the show, "Le Supplement." "She was such a loving, compassionate person, with such an adventurous view on life," said her friend Stephen Fox. (Stephen Fox via AP)
This December 2012 photo provided by Stephen Fox shows Fanny Minot, one of the victims in the deadly attacks in Paris that occurred Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, in Paris. Minot, 29, was an editor at the show, "Le Supplement." "She was such a loving, compassionate person, with such an adventurous view on life," said her friend Stephen Fox. (Stephen Fox via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Here is a memorial for Stephane, reading "you left with this music you loved so much, bon voyage".(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

This 2012 photo courtesy of Caroline Jolivet shows Christophe Foultier at Lake Tahoe, Calif. Foultier died in the Nov. 13, 2015 Paris attacks while watching the band Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan. (Courtesy of Caroline Jolivet via AP)

Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
This 2009 photo provided by Yaneyla Hernandez shows Sven Silva, right, with friends Andres Borges, center, and Tomas Corridore, in Rio Chico, Miranda state, Venezuela. Silva was killed in the Nov. 13, 2015, Paris terrorists attacks, when he had traveled to Paris to meet up with two old friends and he decided to head to the show at the Bataclan. (Yaneyla Hernandez via AP)
Pictures of victims, flowers and candles are set in front of Le Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday Nov. 17, 2015, four days after over 130 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. Here, are memorials for Nico Classeau, Germain Ferey and Estelle.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
A picture of a victim of the attack on Bataclan concert hall reads "our teacher" and "r.i.p Romain Dunet" on makeshift memorial outside the Bataclan, the site of one of the six coordinates attacks which claimed the most victims in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union in the wake of the Paris attacks and has triggered a never-before-used article in the EU's treaties to secure it. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
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While Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, declined to comment on the lawsuit, it said in an emailed statement, "We have clear policies prohibiting terrorist recruitment and content intending to incite violence and quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users."

"We also terminate accounts run by terrorist organizations or those that repeatedly violate our policies," it said.

Facebook said in a statement that was also emailed, "There is no place for terrorists or content that promotes or supports terrorism on Facebook, and we work aggressively to remove such content as soon as we become aware of it." It said it contacts law enforcement when it sees evidence of a threat.

Officials with Twitter could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit said the companies had rebuffed requests by the U.S. government and the public to stop providing services to Islamic State.

"Without defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most-feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit was filed the same day a man who pledged allegiance to Islamic State killed a French police commander and his partner and then took to Facebook Live to encourage others to follow his example. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Toni Reinhold)


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