Twelfth Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Materially Supporting Terrorists” Fails–Retana v. Twitter

The court’s opening paragraph pretty much says it all:

This case is the latest in a string of lawsuits that Plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought in an attempt to hold social media platforms responsible for tragic shootings and attacks across this country—by alleging that the platforms enabled international terrorist organizations to radicalize the attacks’ perpetrators. In fact, Plaintiffs’ lawyers brought a suit in the Northern District of California, Pennie v. Twitter, Inc., 281 F. Supp. 3d 874 (N.D. Cal. 2017), concerning the same Dallas shooting this Court is confronted with here, albeit with different plaintiffs. The court in that case dismissed the claims with prejudice, finding that there was no connection between the shooting and Hamas, the terrorist organization at issue. Yet, Plaintiffs’ counsel made no mention of that case in their briefing; counsel discussed the case only after the Court questioned about it at oral argument…. Plaintiffs here have not and after multiple attempts, clearly cannot connect Hamas to the Dallas shooting.

As usual, the case fails for lack of proximate causation. The court also says the Dallas shooting was not an “act of international terrorism;” “this tragic shooting appears to be an act of domestic terrorism” (sadly, the truth behind far too many U.S. shootings).  The court expressly does not reach the Section 230 defense. As for the policy considerations about the allegedly subpar efforts of social media providers to restrict terroristic content, the court says to take it up with Congress. Case dismissed.

Case citation: Retana v. Twitter, Inc., 2019 WL 6619218 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 5, 2019). The complaint.

Prior Blog Posts:

* Second Circuit Issues Powerful Section 230 Win to Facebook in “Material Support for Terrorists” Case–Force v. Facebook
Eleventh Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Materially Supporting Terrorists” Fails–Palmucci v. Twitter
Another Appellate Court Rejects “Material Support for Terrorist” Claims Against Social Media Platforms–Crosby v. Twitter
Tenth Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Materially Supporting Terrorists” Fails–Sinclair v. Twitter
Ninth Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Materially Supporting Terrorists” Fails–Clayborn v. Twitter
Eighth Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Materially Supporting Terrorists” Fails–Copeland v. Twitter
Seventh Different Lawsuit Against Social Media Providers for “Material Support to Terrorists” Fails–Taamneh v. Twitter
Another Social Media “Material Support to Terrorists” Lawsuit Fails–Cain v. Twitter
“Material Support for Terrorists” Lawsuit Against YouTube Fails Again–Gonzalez v. Google
Fifth Court Rejects ‘Material Support for Terrorism’ Claims Against Social Media Sites–Crosby v. Twitter
Twitter Didn’t Cause ISIS-Inspired Terrorism–Fields v. Twitter
Section 230 Again Preempts Suit Against Facebook for Supporting Terrorists–Force v. Facebook
Fourth Judge Says Social Media Sites Aren’t Liable for Supporting Terrorists–Pennie v. Twitter
Another Court Rejects ‘Material Support To Terrorists’ Claims Against Social Media Sites–Gonzalez v. Google
Facebook Defeats Lawsuit Over Material Support for Terrorists–Cohen v. Facebook
Twitter Defeats ISIS “Material Support” Lawsuit Again–Fields v. Twitter
Section 230 Immunizes Twitter From Liability For ISIS’s Terrorist Activities–Fields v. Twitter