Judge Throws Out San Bernardino Shooting Suits Against Facebook, Google, Twitter

A federal judge has thrown out lawsuits against Facebook, Google, and Twitter that sought to hold the social-media giants liable to victims of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, for allegedly allowing ISIS to spread information on their platforms. Judge Laurel Beeler in San Francisco said the attack—which killed 14 people and injured 22 others—was not the direct result of ISIS activity on the networks. Beeler also found no liability for aiding and abetting terrorism under the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. “A contrary conclusion poses boundless litigation risk and is not tenable given how interconnected communication services are with modern economic and social life,” the judge wrote in her ruling. Beeler dismissed the lawsuits with prejudice, meaning they cannot be filed again. The shooting took place in December 2015. The attackers—Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27—were killed shortly after the attack. Authorities have said the couple were inspired by Islamist militants.